Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creative Woman in the Spotlight

As promised, I am happy to begin my series on Creative Women in Business.  Please help me welcome my first incredibly talented guest!

Please tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do? My name is Melinda Tamm, and I am the owner and main instructor of Ms. Melinda’s Dance Studio. I reside with my husband here in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

What is your creative passion, and why? I love to choreograph and develop dances for all ages. This has been my passion for years. I enjoy the challenge to create stories and an outlet to express emotion through movement. Most of all I love to see the dancers' sense of accomplishment when they perform the dances.

What inspires you? Day to day encounters, the media and personal stories and emotions.

Any advice for the novice just starting out? To never give up, the hard day only will become harder before it becomes easier.

Favorite quote? “Live today for today, because yesterday is in the past, tomorrow may not come, but today is a present.”

What song has been running through your head all day? Sister Christian

For what things would you like to be remembered? For having a big heart, for helping others find their own dreams, and most of all living life to the fullest.

Any other burning issues you are dying to tell us about? I really hope that in the near future we will not have to fight to save the arts in the schools. This is something all children should be able to experience.

Find out more about Ms. Melinda's Dance Studio, an awesome example of what can happen when you follow your dreams!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let Your Light Shine!

I took this photo while walking with my family through the gorgeous woods of St. John's University in St. Joseph, MN.  The radiant light of the late afternoon sun reminds me of a Hawiian folk tale I learned about through training from the National Resilience Resource Center, called the Perfect Bowl of Light.  The concept is that within each of us is a perfect bowl of light, and when we think good thoughts about ourselves, the light shines for all to see.  When you think negative thoughts, it is like putting a stone in your beautiful bowl of light.  This blocks the light from shining, and with each negative thought, gets darker and becomes a heavy burden to carry.  The good news is, that at any time, you can decide to "huli" (turn) the bowl over, letting those negative thoughts go--once again allowing your beautiful light to shine.  We have the power to make that happen.  I've had the honor of sharing this concept with people throughout the adoption community, ranging in age from 8-82. It's awesome to see people gain self-understanding through such a simple analogy.

I am absolutely STOKED about some special interviews I have planned, featuring (drumroll, please!).................Creative Women in Business!  If you would like to be featured in my blog, or know of an outstanding candidate, please feel free to comment below. 

Let it shine, friends!  Ellen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Online Selling Tip #1 It's Not What You Say--It's How You Say It.

I had a magnet set for sale on Etsy for months and months. It was the cutest darned puppy-paw print magnet set in a recycled Altoid tin covered in coordinating paper, with an adorable metal embellishment on the cover that said “woof”. That thing had over 700 views, but not one taker. It was named something really witty like “Woof Puppy Paw Print Magnet Set in Recycled Altoid Travel Tin”. I got to thinking about whether I had ever seen one just like it before, or would ever make one just like it again. I decided that I wouldn’t. That earned it the title “OOAK” (One Of A Kind, for those of us who are new to the terminology). So I slapped that title on it. Hmmm. Still didn’t sell. I decided to change the title and tag to reflect that this item was upcycled, instead of recycled. BINGO! Sold within a day. Why? The word “upcycled” gives the feel of something old having been improved, or given new life or purpose. You know, like the Jefferson’s—Movin’ On Up. Not just something dusted off and re-used that would otherwise have been destined for the landfill. After all, it was the exact same magnet set with a huge number of views. Selling that piece was a matter of simply reframing into the most positive light possible. Kind of like the doctor who tells his patient that her “condition is chronic”, versus having a “terminal illness”. Makes them both feel a little bit better (OK, albeit very little) about it, and able to adjust as time goes on.

Take a peek at your title and tags and see if they reflect the most positive image of your item. You might be glad you did!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Here We Go!

I've got butterflies! Just like the first time climbing behind the wheel of my mom's blue Chevy Malibu when learning how to drive some **hand-over-face-mumble-mumble**-odd years ago. Only this time I'm jumping onto the information superhighway! I decided to finally start my own blog after recently being featured in a few blogs, and was graciously invited to exchange blog information. I realized that I was really missing out on some fantastic friendship-making opportunities with people from all around the world. that I'm totally out of my safety zone (which was under a rock, way back in the dark ages of pre-technology), here we go! Just remember to buckle up, and hang on to your hats! We might be in for a bumpy ride!