A Week of Change – Part 1: A New Focus

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Welcome to A Week of Change

This is a short series on encouraging you make those New Year resolutions a reality! 

The intro and all parts to A Week of Change can be viewed HERE


Part 1 – A New Focus

Every one of you wants to accomplish something. You know that something… the one you fear going after because you may (gasp!) fail. Think about what that is right now before you read on.

.
.
. waiting….
.
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Oh stop it! Yes, it is achievable! And I’ll show you how easy it really is. 🙂

My new focus

My new focus is to bring an income to Funky Junk headquarters. So I’ve been busy listing ways to do that. Surprisingly, the list actually grew pretty large! But one thing stood out above and beyond the rest because:

it was something I actually could find the time to do with my kind of schedule
I liked doing it
it teaches those that wish to learn it for themselves

Can you guess what it is?

Writing.

So over the holidays, I did something about it. Rather than endlessly browse online for hours as a means of avoiding exactly what I was fearing, I opened up my word processor and forced myself to get words down. And write. Something new.

Writing isn’t new to me. I have several ebooks started but they weren’t speaking to me. And I think that was the error of my ways right there. I needed to choose something that I knew enough about and consider the competition. For this topic, I didn’t really note any quite the way I’m delivering it.

So write I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Once the words started, I could barely stop. I’m now on the last chapter! How did that happen after MONTHS of procrastinating?!?

I got a push.

Now know, I wasn’t able to jump start this on my own. Some heavy encouragement from a friend stepping on my procrastinating toes did me in and got me to think. I got mad at myself for stalling so long, went home and got to work.

Us creative types can be finicky. We know what we want and we know what it takes, but we aren’t ‘moved’. Or so we say. You may need that extra push or perhaps even a fresh direction. Find a mentor if you need it, then when you’re fuelled up, strike while the iron is hot! Worked for me anyway.

 I’ll tell you what I’m writing about soon and why the timing was critical now. But the important thing at the moment is, I set a goal, went for it AND surpassed my own expectations! And it wasn’t hard. Doh!

Your turn

So my friends, allow me to be the one that steps on your own procrastinating toes.

Think of what you want to do. Then go about making it happen. Go ask for help. Sign up for a class. Make a phone call. Pray. Do whatever it is YOU need to get yourself motivated. Then, do it. Try! Fall. Then get up again and do it all over until you succeed. There are no fails here, deal?

It will not be easy. This new dive into the unknown is not for the fearless. But I know you have it in you to do it. Take that giant first step off the cliff and you’ll be amazed how short that fall truly is once you’re there.

So… now you’re debating if this is the right challenge for you… Go ahead and procrastinate for another whole year if you want to redo 2011 all over again. (how bleak did that sound!) But I’ll bet that little bit of fear is just the ticket to get you rolling in the right direction. Fear makes the unknown a little exciting, wouldn’t you agree?!?

Still not sure what you want? Ask yourself this.

{ What would you want to do if you knew you would succeed? }

Want a different kind of year? Do different kind of work.

So.. what are YOU going to do?


We’d love to hear your scary goals in comments if you care to share!

See you tomorrow for Part 2! If you dare… 🙂

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  1. I would LOVE to earn a living with my blog… just not quite sure how to change it from a hobby into a money maker. This post is very inspiring! I’ve got a couple e-books in the works… and ideas for a few more. Still unsure if anyone will want to pay money for them, though. lol

  2. OK. maybe I should learn how to spell…..

    Not letting the fact that I am renting our home hold me back. I feel so uninspired sometimes because I can’t renovate and create the dream kitchen I want. But we are living debt free and that is liberating…so I need to work on creating beauty despite the fact that my home isn’t perfect.

    My goals are on the blog tomorrow:)
    Can’t wait to hear what you are writing about!

  3. I want to write a work of fiction, based in the small, northern Ontario village I grew up in. The research is done. I have the plot, characters and setting. I do not have one single word written. I need your certificate of commitment. ~ Maureen

  4. Donna – I really want to thank you so much for writing posts like this. For really motivating us to do more. It’s really because of you, and your help, that I am now “making a living”. Ok, it’s not a big paycheck that my husband brings home, but I’m making more blogging now than I am teaching piano lessons – which I didn’t think was possible. It’s because of you and your inspiration that I had the courage to start writing major companies and asking for them to sponsor me for giveaways and such. And you know what? Most of them said “yes”! Wow! So, I’ve been, in return, trying to encourage other “younger” bloggers to do the same. I’ve worked harder than ever these past three months, to make my blog something that is really worth reading, worth looking at, and worth someone’s time to come and check out. And, it’s paying off. Thank you, Donna! Now, I’m having to work on balance! Cause, holy cow I’m so busy!!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingamadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  5. This is another great series Donna. My blog was actually a goal of mine this time last year. I jumped in in April, and surprised myself with the amount of posts I was able to produce. I opened an Etsy, but figuring out exactly how I want to proceed with it is another goal. My problem is, I have too many ideas. I procrastinate sometimes, because I’m not sure which direction to take first. Writing articles, and online shop of my own, blah, blah, blah. Organization and focus is what I will be working on.

  6. I want to make a living, even it is a small one, being creative. I have put it off for years and as I look forward I realize I most likely have less time before me than behind me. The time is now, I have procrastinated long enough!!!! I have plans to get some things made, get a Etsy shop going and try to find a couple of boutiques locally that will sell my stuff. This is the year or time to put it behind me!

  7. oooh…a challenge i need! i need to make a living off my artwork, so i need to challenge myself to consistently create, work on my Etsy shop, and get more followers (who will hopefully become customers) to my facebook page. in 2012 i commit to my art & its success!

    thank you donna!

  8. I have finally gotten the confidence to say out loud that I AM good at decorating!!…My ultimate goal would be to have something published in a home decor magazine….even the smallest vignette…I have loved home decor since I was a little girl…I get so much joy out of creating a nice space or repurposing something blah into something wonderful…last year I started blogging about it…now I want to makes something happen with it!!…I’m really hoping that 2012 is the year!!….it would be nice to make a little money too…lol…as the saying goes, find something you love and figure out how to make money doing it…that is my goal!!…Mariaelena

  9. Hey Donna! Very inspiring post 🙂 My goal, get 1 project done a month and two if they are small! We are re-doing our portion of the house and it needs to be done by spring so I can move to outside. I always enjoy reading your posts. Very uplifting 🙂

  10. Donna,

    I can’t thank you enough for your words of encouragement. Startling how a little thought can niggle at the mind and we ignore it. I have started listening and on my morning cruise though favorite blogs I land here where your words are along the similar vein of thinking are leading me. I do have a goal I would like to achieve this year, not the kind on the list of “shoulds” that we all have, you know, I should exercise more or I should ______, etc. This is an honest heart desire to reach for something that I have not dared to reach for in the past. Fear has kept me rooted in the safety of never having tried so I would never have failed. I would honestly like to change that one thing in this new year.

    In the words of KC Willis, “…If the souls of your dreams have worn thin, repair them and try them again. Never throw them away. The opportunities that cross your trail are destiny. What you do with them is your legacy…”

    My intention is to dust off my dream!

    I look forward to the rest of this mini series of jump starting our intentions for the New Year. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  11. Ouch. Would you kindly get off my toes????

    OK. I know I intend to lose weight and exercise to get healthy. I know that I intend to blog more, take more photos, scrapbook more, create more.

    I have taken one step to help me and that is hire someone to help me clean the house. I have multiple back issues and having her get my house clean in one day, not the multiple days that it takes me, is so liberating. Maybe with this free time I can get to some of my intentions.

  12. Getting my furniture flipping business up and running…all the tools are there, I just need to start doing instead of dreaming. Thanks for the motivation Donna…keep stepping on my toes!!!

  13. I am right there with you! I have one major goal this year and zillions of minors to support the major! LOL! I want to sell my house and move back to my hometown. Lots to do but I KNOW it’s going to happen! Go Team Go!!!! I wish you a happy,
    dream-achieving year!

  14. There are so many things that I want to do in 2012, it’s hard to narrow it down. My blogs seem to be the biggest thing on the “got to make it better” list. It would be awesome to be sponsored. But I honestly don’t know where to begin. I’ll be back tomorrow to hear more about your e-book and learn more about turning this blogging obsession into a viable business.

  15. Ok, ok….You have put out the challenge & I’m going to try my BEST & take you up on it.
    no more excuses
    no more fear
    just do it
    I’m going to get out there & “pound the pavement” until I find someone…anyone who will let me place my furniture in their store to sell it. Where I live the competition is tough, extremely tough. As a result I have been scared to try. This is not the norm for me. Maybe it feels personal to me or maybe because I’m afraid of failure.
    But you have motivated me to try…………….

    thank you, Donna
    – Katie
    http://sweetgirlexpressions.blogspot.com

  16. I’m on board, Donna! 2011 was a pretty dormant year for me creatively. 2012 is about all things creative (along with the necessary, of course). Reading great blogs, starting a blog, and buying a house that needs fixing has the creative juices flowing. Let’s go!! Thanks for the encouragement!

  17. “If i knew i would succeed” huh? Well i would be a park ranger who sells her artwork in her spare time. Where if she wasn’t working in her park ranger job you’d find her sketching or painting or hiking for miles and miles……….sounds crazy even to me but there you go………

  18. There you go again….making me think about what I don’t want to repeat from last year. I am my own worst enemy. My hubby is nagging me to start my own business and I fear failing. I have the motivation, but I always seem to have major hurdles that trip me up. I just have to remember that I have what it takes.

    I WILL be continuing to read on….

  19. That’s the key to writing, finding something you know and then the words just flow. Wow I made a rhyme! 😉

    Ok, for me, this year will be about getting my house in order, both my mental house, my physical house, and my work entities. I will make my photography work to earn me money, I will let go of furniture and things that are holding me back because I didn’t want to let them go. I’m ready, I’ve already started, and it feels good!

    Wishing you all the best in 2012!

    Kat 🙂

  20. What a great and challenging post. 2012 is all about maximizing my talents and use them to grown and fuel my business, my Etsy shop, my blog and my exposure within the design community. I will monetize my blog, have my work featured in a publication, begin teaching my design classes again and do it all while enjoying life to the fullest.

    Shelly
    http://www.ConfettiStyle.wordpress.com
    Etsy: Confettistyledesigns

  21. I am totally focused on growing my business in 2012, which includes my main goal – growing my “baby” blog. It’s a scary thing putting yourself out there & chancing failure; but success doesn’t come without risk. I bravely signed up for the Haven Conference & can’t wait to take what I learn and apply it to my blog. It’s my first step!

  22. First of all Donna, you are FABULOUS and I thank you for your encouragement! I have started making a slipcover for my couch that I have been putting off for a long time. That is something I have been wanting to do.
    Thank you for all you do! I appreciate YOU! XO
    Cheryl

  23. Jeez, we have to meet! I think you should cross over to Seattle and give a one or two day motivation session to all of us laggards. I get excited just reading less than 500 words from you. Could you imagine what you could do for me with a whole day in person! Ann

  24. Year after year I always state I am going to make a change for myself, my family and our small little business but I seem to lack motivation or procrastinate and I never accomplish what I hope to. I am so ready and welcome this challenge.

    Willow Creek had a good year but I am ready to dig deep and give our customers something exciting & different. I have huge dreams to have a career being creative and sometimes I just need to jump because I know deep down I can do it.

    I also plan on working on my photography/editing and our etsy shop. Thanks funky junk for this series. We all need motivation sometimes!

  25. OK, if I say it I have to do it right? I’m going to teach at least four classes this year and charge enough to make a profit (which is something that usually doesn’t happen). I’ll figure out a way to market them rather than just dithering about how am I going to get enough students and sending them out only to friends…I know this must be “figure outable” LOL

  26. Donna, I am excited to be a part of your challenge. I quit my job a few weeks ago knowing I wanted to do my own thing so bad that any sacrifice, even failure was worth the risk. 2011 was a tough year for so many. I do beleive it taught us to be fearless to starting over and reinventing ourself and for that I am thankful. You have started something powerful and I look forward to building my dream with so many talented people.

  27. chewing on this…maybe something will float to the top the more I think on it. things seem so scattered these days. not sure I’m up for a challenge but I sure want to see what you and others are going to do with this. looking forward to this wonderful series, I know it will be awesome. and congratulations on the completion of your project. can’t wait to see it.

  28. I am a pre-k teacher and have taught for 29 years and still love it and am excited about each day. It is in my blood and I am always finding new ways to teach children. I want to write a book to help beginning teachers and that is my challenge.

    Good luck with yours, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!

  29. Girllll! I’m not gay but you could seriously turn me out!
    (I could’ve just said I love you, but there aren’t any smilie thingies in Blogger and I needed something emphatic, ok?)

    Seriously tho – I love what I do. I love painting. I love blogging. And I might as well throw writing in there too. But I also love the things money can bring. *shock*

    So my challenge is to get really focused, like a laser, on the obvious financial opportunities from painting, blogging & writing.

    Your series will definitely help, Sweetie. Hunny. Snookums. 😉

  30. Oh my … a good kick in the you-know-what! Now to decide. What is it that I REALLY want to accomplish this year. Not just dream about, but actually accomplish. So many things I want to do that I often sit here paralized. Thank you for the inspiration to get going!

  31. This is scary!!!!!!
    I’m walking away from my part-time job after 7 years & heading into 8. It’s now or never. Whatever will be will be. There used to be a song…que ser rah ser rah…..(sp) sung by Doris Day. It’s happening 1/31/12. Medicare kicks in on 2/1/12. That’s what I was waiting for. So….see what happens!
    Thanks Donna!

  32. I’ve been blogging for a long time, but only “seriously”…you know commitment-wise for a couple of years.
    You know The Husband had a scary heart attack this year—in 28 1/2 years I’VE NEVER WORKED. I’ve been a stay at home mom,house wife, and now,Oma. If it weren’t for social security (and let me say that doesn’t make me feel secure) we wouldn’t have ANY INCOME.
    I would seriously, like to make money at home. Right now, my kids pay me to babysit the Littles (otherwise, they’d be in daycare. We’re not a daycare family)
    ANYWAY… making money AT HOME is what I want.
    Fear and ANXIETY set in at the thought of leaving home to go to work…
    I’m ready to read every post this week. I’m waiting…frozen.
    Hoping you’re not going to ask me to do something WAY OUTSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE.

    I do appreciate you putting yourself out there and giving us tons of encouragement.
    I’m telling you now…I’m scared of commitment Donna!

    your bloggy friend, Pat

  33. Thank you for being you and for being so honest and sharing with everyone. It means a lot to so many people here (obviously, from all of your comments). Sometimes people do just need a little push, and someone to share their fears with, and their hopes. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say next.

  34. Thank you again for this series, just what I need. A friend asked me today how she could pray for me, and I told her I need something/someone to get me motivated to do all the things I could be doing if only I would stop putting them off. And here you are, talking about procrastination! I’d say you are an answer to prayer. 🙂

  35. I would love to be able to make a living from my blog and my photography. My husband and I were kicking around the idea for a product on January 1. We’re refining the idea and it’s a viable product. And it would tie in with my photography, my blog and our love of vintage items. That’s our goal for 2012. Fingers crossed. I’m going to print the certificate and put it where I can see it everyday. Thanks for the inspiration.

  36. I’m glad your writing this series, Donna. I’ve been putting off doing a couple of things and look forward to your motivation. I also can’t wait to get a look at what your writing – I’m so excited by your email, I’ll probably be first in line to buy yor book! You totally Rock.

  37. I can’t seem to get my fat thighs over the hurdle of shipping furniture. The thought overwhelms me. I started filling out all the forms for my Etsy shop MONTHS ago until I got to shipping. Time for my big girl panties!!!

  38. Just what i needed -someone to voice the thoughts in my head! i am moving back to Uk from Kenya and have wanted to start a little business doing rustic type home furnishings etc but not really putting my heart and soul into it – scared of failure – but this is the year! And I can do it! Thanks for all your great ideas and encouragement – I always love looking at your blogxx

  39. Change, movement and committment…wow. I did the change, grew by starting a blog and etsy shop, moved! But now with years of healthcare experience I can’t get a job. So you are right, make a goal. I am thinking and will write them down and share with you. Thanks for the push. Di@cottage-wishes. I appreciate the encouragement.

  40. I have to admit you ought to have stepped on my toes with this one but I have been keeping them tucked so tightly underneath me lately that no one would step on them. It was a hard, hard year for me…. old wounds were ripped open but ignored which only made things worse. Grief is a cruel taskmaster but slowly it is either losing its grip or else we are finally starting to turn to face each other. What does this year hold? I honestly do not know but it will involve LOTS of change…. finally dealing with all the “intricacies” of the estate of an estranged parent, a child to soon graduate and then college. But it is definitely already a time of growing for our family…. and for me! Its time to start moving and actually join my family again on so many levels. Thank you.

  41. Boy, you sure posted this at a good time! I don’t want to blog but I want to get involved in the blogging? Make sense? Sure it does!!!

    I follow several blogs (read: too many!) and everyone of you boggles (bloggles?) my mind. You blog, raise a family, work outside/inside the home, craft, DIY, etc., etc.,etc.. AND, you make it look so easy. In your lists of for changes in 2012 almost all of you mentioned one way or another about making better use of your time for ALL the things you do – more time for family, more time for blogging, more time for crafting, etc., etc., etc.. You all need an assistant and that would be me.

    Being an assistant is what I can do to be involved in blogging but not blog. See! Now it makes sense!

    Only, I’m not sure how to go about it! I’ve been thinking about this idea for several months – the logistics are the biggest bug-bear (have no idea where that saying came from).

    There are more questions than answers!
    1. It would have to be virtual. Though I would love to be able to travel through Canada and the States (I live two hours SW of Toronto in Canada.) it just isn’t feasible. Here’s a for instance, I would “transport” myself from London (beam me up, Scotty?) to Southern California (love it there) in the morning then on to Toronto in the afternoon and then in the evening I would be off to Utah or wherever and then back to London to feed the cat. See, just not possible.
    2. Trust. Being virtual would require a great deal of trust on everyone’s part – more so on yours than mine. I know I’m trustworthy; I know I can work on a deadline; I know I’m good at what I do; I’m very knowledgeable about crafts and sort-of knowledgeable about refinishing & all the rest of that stuff; I know lots of things good things about me but you don’t know me from Adam.

    3. Here are some examples of what I could be used for: emails, mucking about with the blog-face, if you have etsy – tracing orders, etc.. I’m sure there are lots more things. Any suggestions?

    Do you think this would work? What could you use me for? I would love to be someone’s real assistant (like Miss Mustard Seed’s).

    Yes, I do know you all are busy and this just adds to that busy-ness but in the long run it would definitely be time saving. I DO feel this could be done and that it would help a great deal towards freeing up your time by getting rid of some of those yucky administrative things.

    What do you think? Could it be done? I would be more than willing to try this with someone on a trial basis – say, maybe three months – for free. All it would take would be one person willing to try (besides me)and off we could go on this wonderful learning curve. Ultimately, as far as cost, I have no idea. That also brings more questions but it could be worked out.

    Anyhoo, that’s my thoughts! I need suggestions, answers, one crazy person willing to live on the edge with me. How about it? Do you honestly think this could be done? Or would it be a total waste of time?

    Take care,
    Cathy

  42. OK! i hear ya. After lurking for 2 years I will finally start my blog. I want to leave the rat race and make a living with my creativity. I’ve been so inspired by you Donna, that this is now the year to do it. I can’t spell either and I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know some who do! So here goes. Watch me run, or sing, or fly, or what ever it is I need to do to ‘get’er done!

    Love you lots!
    Miss Ellie

  43. I quit my job over 2 years ago to stay home with my daughter. I already had an Etsy shop and a photography business going, but somehow in the last two years they have gone NOWHERE. And the worst thing is I feel like I work my butt off all the time.

    I want to start a blog and make money from it. I want to grow my Etsy shop and make a lot of money from it. I want to wholesale some of my stuff and truly have multiple streams of income. And eventually I’d like to have a brick and mortal shop to sell my stuff, other people’s stuff, and have classes and parties so people can be creative without having to be a “creative”.

    I just don’t understand why this is so difficult. We are all so talented and have so much to offer the world. Where’s the tipping point when you need it?

    Thanks for the push.
    Stacie
    ShineYourLightStudios.com

  44. Hi Donna, Thank you so much for your GREAT and inspiring posts. What I really want is a blog! I have had this in my mind for many months, I just keep putting it off for fear of the unknown and failure. However, I am not new to junk/rustic/overly-loved/I-could-make-something-out-of-that stuff. Most of the furnishings in our home are either made by me or are refurbished thrift store/CL/garage sale finds. Like most everyone else in DYI land, I have a shed full of inspiration just waiting in the wings. I loved your ‘Blog to Biz’ series and will revisit it to help me on this journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  45. Donna, I swear sometimes you read my mind with your posts & your thoughts have perfect timing! I know I am a creative because I have so many lofty (some may say even a bit whimsical) goals I often don’t know exactly where to start, so I end up at the starting line on pause. My #1 goal is to sell our current home. Once that is done we are off to the races…we have our second home ready & waiting for us to dive in. It needs completly renovated ~ completely gutted. I KNOW that if we can get started on our house back in our hometown, it will open so many doors for my husband & myself both. #2 RENOVATE like CRAZY. #3 BLOG BLOG BLOG about our journey! #4 (I did say lofty;) Generate some income from the blog #5 Start sewing ~ make items to sell Sorry I got a bit winded…what can I say you gave me a push. Now let’s hope I can use the momentum! Thanks! Carrie