Monday Morning Courage

What do you do when Monday morning hits and the pile of to-do’s is beyond anything humanly possible?

Ever felt that way?

I know I have. There are weeks my teams and I are looking around thinking….we need supernatural help and F A S T.

….we need supernatural help and F A S T.

Here are my three top tips for Monday Morning Courage. Use this anytime during the week….it applies across the board.

Set the timer for 15 minutes

  • Set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes and do nothing but close your eyes and thank God for everything you can think of, including public toilets and running water. No joke, I mean it. Get yourself in a position of thankfulness. I like to cover my head and go into a place of darkness where I’m not distracted in any way. I sit and just breathe….& then start to thank God. For everything I can think of.

 

Set the timer for 10 minutes

  • AFTER the 15 minutes, set the timer again for 10 minutes, and praise God. Praise is different than thankfulness, it has to do with identifying God, as well….God.

Courtyards and gates are points of entrance. Use the simple keys of thanksgiving and praise to enter freely through what Jesus alone has already done for us – he made the keys work…

  • There is a Bible verse that says we enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. This exercise before a day of potential overwhelm is a no fail reminder that God is still God, and with him, no thing is impossible.

Set the timer for 5 minutes and wait….

  • AFTER the 10 minutes, set your timer for 5 minutes (you will want more time:) and be silent before God. Ask him one, maybe two questions, and then wait. Wait and write down what he says.

 

This is one of the most basic things we can do to establish our routine with God, and it seems to get away from us. It takes 3o minutes. If you need to shorten it for starters, shorten it to 5 – 5 – 5, and see how it goes!

…when all hell is breaking loose and you have to hide in the bathroom to pray at work, break it into 5 minute increments…5-5-5.

Creative, you have a remarkable year ahead. Let’s forge it with courage!

Keep it Simple, Make it Truth

Keep it Simple & Make it Truth.

Not true…as in factual…make it TRUTH, as in….it agrees with what TRUTH says.

Here’s what I mean.

It may be true (factual) that you have no team members yet to help with your budding enterprise, BUT the TRUTH says, God will supply all your need according to His riches.

So the TRUTH is, should you have need of a team….God has it supplied.

Read on for a funny on how we worked this out, me and God.

This should make you laugh & wonder….it might be worth a try!

This is to bless you. If you are currently a one person shop, or a single blogger, or a work from home without teams….THIS is what made change for us.

I started treating our organization as if it were what I wanted it to become.

I started each morning, Monday through Thursday, in my underground office (my unfinished basement) sitting in the head chair with my clipboard, coffee and hosted a Board Meeting for anywhere between 2 & 11 other people…

Fact? There was no one there besides me, Jesus, Holy Spirit & God. Occasionally my three pugs would show…

…but I was DRESSED & ready. Prepared so to speak for all the business we were conducting that day.

True? There was no one else when I started…

….but here’s the “He will supply all your NEED according to His riches” kicker…

I got dressed and PLANNED those meetings as if the people were THERE.

With real jobs, real assignments…..real NEEDS.

Guess what happened?

I felt completely stupid for a while.

I laughed, prayed, eye rolled, but eventually….

God and I were calling those things that were not, as if they were.

And eventually, team members started to materialize….

Go ahead, laugh. It was pretty funny.

All dressed up with absolutely no one listening besides God. I even made coffee, for God…and me.

Here’s the point today Creative.

Blessing needs ROOM to reside.

We train for the marathon before we run it.

I was training for my teams before they showed up.

I never worked in a corporate setting, save for 3 months in a NYC PR Firm, in which I thought I might die from cubicle isolation.

I was the one who needed the training for teams to come & this was the fastest way it felt like it would happen. That, and I felt like it was a word from God to start doing this.

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

If God dropped a team of 2 to 11 full time people into my business or ministry right now, would I know how to steward them to increase?

Do I have a list of tasks, projects, emails, social media, blog posts for them to handle?

If I build the space & create a (positive) need, it can be filled. Blessing only comes when there is space for it to reside.

Creative? I’m sharing this because I know what it’s like to be solo with big dreams….aching for my teams…wondering where my people are!

Make room for it this year….by planning and TRAINING in the every day schedules.

I felt pretty silly getting up early and prep’ing for meetings with no one attending & then getting dressed for said meetings like I was working for the President.

So, I know for some…it’s work casual. No meetings, social media only, but for me, the way I’m wired, the meeting thing helped.

It helped my brain focus. My spirit stay connected & my feet get in line so to speak…especially as a work from home.

I’ve included a video of just one of our custom fabrics from my design business to show you – you will be amazed at what God can do when we give him our vulnerability…to process…

Share this post with a friend Creative who need to know they aren’t alone in this process thing.

Xo – Ann

Stay tuned for our class Idea to Implementation Master Class. We begin on April 2.

 

31 Days of Enough: Day 28 “Week 4”

Thirty One Days of Enough: Day 28. You can find Week 1 HERE, Week 2 HERE, Week 3 HERE

This process? It’s powerful friend. It will change you if you are willing to be vulnerable – first with yourself so you can receive.

Nugget Day 28:

The compilation for Week 4 is below. Read this truth over yourself and your home, family, life and business each day.

I have a promised harvest, replete with songs of joy. I am redeemed by his blood, not my effort – all my sins are forgiven and there is lavish love and riches of grace set aside just for me, as a son or daughter of the King.

From God to you:

You will return with songs of joy carrying your harvest with you. In Jesus we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us

Want More?

Print out the picture, pin the picture and memorize the saying above. Hide it in your heart for the days you feel like there is none who sees. Friend, God sees everything. He sees the wounds deep in your heart and longs to heal them. Take some time today and simply rest before a gracious and kind Father. There is no guile in him. None.

Keep what you give away

Share this with a friend who needs to believe this.

 

xo – A

 

31 Days of Enough: Day 9 “Prosper”

Thirty One Days of Enough: Day 9. You can find Week 1 HERE, Day 8 HERE

This process? It’s powerful friend. It will change you if you are willing to be vulnerable – first with yourself so you can receive.

Nugget Day 9:

God planned before the foundations of the earth were ever laid, for you to prosper. Say it out loud: I am prosperous by design.

From God to you:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Want More?

Print out the picture, pin the picture and memorize the saying above. Hide it in your heart for the days you feel like there is no safe place anywhere around you.

Keep what you give away

Share this with a friend who needs to believe this.

 

xo – A

 

We Looked Great on Paper….

We looked GREAT on paper.
We had great clients, great press, even strong revenue numbers.
Really strong revenue numbers…
But there were signs everything wasn’t rosy when we tallied numbers and met with our accountant.
There was one year, I couldn’t look.
How was it even possible?
I was doing everything right!
We had a system in place for clients, we had clients, we had assistants, interns…even someone who handles the inventory….
I had obeyed everything the world told me I was supposed to obey…I had followed the “rules”…
*****
There are times we have come to Jesus moments and make the changes we need to make.
There are times we have come to Jesus moments and walk the other way….
…into more busyness and more “great press”….have you seen? I was quoted by the editor of Elle Decor…on Luxury Now…in 2012…
…but…in the secret place…I couldn’t look….the tallies were off for some reason…I knew something was off…and God was most decidedly not allowing me to prosper when all was said and done…
Here’s the thing: Our God given authority comes when we release our God given sound.
In order to trample things that came to steal, kill and destroy….or remove profits from us…we must be in that sound.
The sound does not need to be pretty or clear, but it must be blown by the breath of God.
I had reached a place where I was the one breathing and sounding….leaving the breath of God out of it.
I had become practiced, trained, an expert….a very dangerous place to be as a follower of Jesus.
Finally, after this last come to Jesus moment, I listened with my whole heart. I laid my soul down. I yielded….to the extent that I was able….and set in motion people who would remind me to yield…..daily…..
I will tackle some of this on Today’s Facebook Live at 1 pm PST – what refines our sound — so what we see out front is simply a reflection of what is prospering behind the scenes, and we are speaking our truth, from a place of complete and total transparency with God, holding nothing back.

Set Aside Distractions: Get Something Done

Just to be clear, I hate chaos.

The problem is, we do Creative type things…which by nature, are messy and tend to generate piles, cuttings, scraps and “just maybes”…

“Just maybes” are those things you might need in the future for the potential, as yet untapped, pending idea that will…just maybe…change everything…

AKA piles of crap.

For the longest time, my Design Studio/Home Office had two sections:

Public staged to perfection thank you very much

Private get ‘er done half finished piles of “oh my GOD, don’t go in there…only THE Cross makes way for a visitor not fully employed by Couture Chateau to even venture a peek…”

The problem?

The solution?

Watch our Facebook Live Video for how I (we) made small HUGE strides in removing the chaos and what ensued as a result.

I’m doing this during November BECAUSE the holidays are some of the toughest times of the year for many many people – some of those struggling under chaos, are your clients….or us!

Holidays can turn Cindy Loo Who’s into Nasty Step Relatives of the Grinch….the ones who never get big hearts at the end….

Don’t believe me?

Ask ANY Creative with a service business at this time of year.

Perfectionism rears it’s ugly head and fear creeps into the best of ’em.

Designers, decorators, caterers, cleaners…..florists….

We have our own network of support.

In today’s Facebook Live, I’m getting practical. There is doing involved….not just “feelies”.

And the doing? It will involve boundaries. Yipes.

Help is on the way!

Xo – Ann

WHO not WHAT

 

Welcome Creative!

A quick retro tip video from my days as Business Moderator for a Trade Design Group. Still one of my BIGGEST KEYS for building ideas out well. If you have struggled in any way to glean repeat business or figure out what to put on the front page of your website, watch this short video dealing with the dead end of “what” brands.

We must remember it’s about WHO we serve and solve for in love, not WHAT we do.

Don’t get me wrong, WHAT we do is important….but at the end of the day if we are a WHAT, we have to keep re-earning our clients’ trust with each new product.

If we are willing to do the upfront work to learn WHO we are loving through our brands, WHO we are serving and solving for….then it becomes relational, not transactional in nature.

Even though we can provide WHAT SOLUTIONS, there is always a WONDERFUL WHO on the other side.

A real, living, breathing, honorable, human being.

This is a short watch. 2 1/2 minutes and you are done! Watch it a few times. Let it sink in.

Then ask God, “who is my WHO in this season”…

Do everything in love Creative.

Xo – Ann

Learning Clarity as a Creative: Lessons From the Diamond District

Learning Clarity as a Creative: Lessons From the Diamond District, by Ann McDonald

One of the most needed helps in the Creative world right now is the ability to have CLARITY.

Clarity eludes us, by nature, as creatives. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it can feel like our default mechanism is possibility, not clarity – which contains a focus within to….well…be clear.

As for me and most of the Creatives I hang with, we are always defaulting to “what if”…the possibilities are endless and heaven is here!

Praise praise, jump jump, communion….snack – see you tomorrow!

….and nothing gets finished.

…and then we are praying and declaring and believing for financial miracles and all those good things…

…but decide what email capture to put on our ministry websites? on our businesses? UGH! no clarity.

It’s as if we have belief for everything and everyone else, but when it comes to our day to day, the focus vaporizes.

I heard a term from my lead tech. He called something “vaporware” – as in NOT software…it wasn’t real…it was a vapor.

So how do we get a hold of clarity as Creatives?

One of my finest living examples is taken from the Diamond Districts in New York.

I’m not the first to use this district as a metaphor, nor will I be the last…but it is just so beautiful for clarity.

Diamonds have clarity.

The district is on 47th Street – look up Psalm 47.

It keeps going from there.

God is after ligaments of strength, backs to backs, hearts to hearts. A body simply cannot function if it’s in a state of dismemberment.

Let me share some of the basics, and then watch the video training I did on the same topic. It will help. I know from experience. If I had a penny for each non-clarified idea, I’d be…well…someone else would be editing my writing and there would be fewer dots and fewer grammar errors…:)