OK…so I’m a couple weeks out from welcoming in 2012. Sorry I’m late! I’ve been a bit tied up with some projects and enticing opportunities that the new year has laid at my feet.

1. New, Improved Work Space! I had the urge to purge, and at the end of December I just went with it. Remember the jewel I wrote about stirring up your energy back in 2009? (OK, no?! ha!)

The Chinese have a saying: “If you want a change in your life, move 27 things in your house.”

I easily moved 10 times that. I emptied out my office; had long-overdue plaster repairs completed; repainted the walls and ceiling; purged paperwork and put a LOT of stuff in the yard sale pile; rearranged the furniture; created a new work space since a good friend took the large chaise that she had long admired in my office.

I now have physical and emotional room to think and create more freely. LOVE IT. Try it for yourself!

2. New, Improved Work-Flow! Many of my friends know that to step into my house is to walk into a production zone. At any given time, the dining room table may be covered in cards or bookmarks; the living room might have inventory and displays piled up, ready to be loaded for a show.

Well, NOW our first floor looks as if a couple of normal people live here! I reconfigured what’s stored where: the office purge/rearrangement yielded an opportunity for me to move a working inventory upstairs, and a basement rearrangement allowed me to get the rest of it and my show stuff all down there. Yay!

Our living room is for living; our dining room is for dining…..and the office is for…officing? Ahhhhh…you know what I mean.

End result: more room to work more efficiently, and my downstairs looks pretty again. Woo hoo!

3. New Help and Support! I came to the realization that I cannot do it all by myself. There. I said it!

Confession: I did not arrive at this conclusion alone! Thank you, Chief Butt Kicker and Main Focuser Nancy Giere for coaching me to this epiphany.

I have a full-time job that I love, so a perennial challenge for me is to balance my career with my photography business/passion. Right now, I’m getting in the way of my studio’s growth because there isn’t enough time in the day for me to a) be a rock star in my amazing day job (which, by the way, I totally am) and b) still find time to photograph, figure out what I’m going to put the images on, produce them, sell it all, ship the orders, make sure the bookkeeping is done, etc. etc.

Nancy has helped me tremendously with the concept of “The Power of Subtraction”: creating more time and space by deleting and delegating.

I definitely achieved the “more space” with the office reconfiguration. I am in the process of creating more time for myself by coming to terms with DELEGATING (something I have never ever been good at. Yes. I am a control freak). I have to learn how to delegate effectively in order to grow and get to the next level.

I already have a graphics guru (Tish!) and a fabulous sales person (Debbie!). I realized that if I handed over some of the marketing and PR stuff to an expert AND if I automated more of the bookkeeping/back of the house matters, I could free up more time to do more of what I love.

Joining my Able Stable is the fabulous Nan Johnson of Nan Johnson Public Relations, to help me on the marketing/PR front. As she says, “Why hire in when you can hire out?”  I could have called a thousand other people, but there’s only one Nan. We had the pleasure of working together on a project when I was the marketing director for a large travel management company, and I’ve always hoped we’d have a chance to collaborate together once more. I have some things in the pipeline that need a little spit shine and polish, so we’re taking them on with gusto. And, you know what? If I don’t want to “deal,” I can now say, “Talk to the Nan cuz the Cheryl don’t want to hear it.”

I’m also in the process of streamlining the back of the house/bookkeeping process. If I can give up the 10,000 spreadsheets I currently use to process and track my orders, then I’ll be thrilled. I’m so inefficient right now, it’s a JOKE.

And….a new licensing opportunity has arrived. A former boss and my counsel are helping me get to the next stage in negotiations. I’m thankful for their help!

Morals from this lengthy post?

  • Figure out what you love to do. Make room so you can do it.
  • Figure out what you don’t like to do or in what areas you’re not an expert. Let someone else help you with it.