The Power of Self-Expression

Self-expression is defined as: “the expression or assertion of one’s own personality, as in conversation, behavior, poetry, or painting.”

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Self-expression is a release and a form of mediation. You are uncovering your soulful power from within. It is truly a natural form of therapy.

I conducted an interview with three people for their input on the power of self-expression:

The first interviewee is a woman currently student-teaching, on her way to be a teacher. (She prefers to stay anonymous online because of her career).

What does self-expression mean to you?

L: “Self-expression is a way to show yourself and others the magic you are made of. It is also a way to release any energy you have stored – negative or positive. It’s a way to transmute negative energy into art, as well. Self-expression is about individuality as well as community…it allows us to attract the souls that resonate with our own. Through styles of food, clothing, meditation, art, traditions, language, etc., we are able to connect with the world around us. By listening to our spirit in our endeavor to self-express, we are better able to attract and manifest what we want in life.”

How do you reach the self-expression flow? Is it easy for you to find?

L: “Flow is about releasing energy. You have an idea in your mind – you go to work – you create it and it becomes reality. Or, you have emotions blocked up, perhaps are harboring something dark in your spirit…you can transmute those feelings through some sort of movement or task. Or perhaps you’re full of elation and bliss – that calls for a release of energy too! Either way, flow is therapeutic.

Turn on some tunes and move freely to the rhythm. Or find something to create with your hands. Cook, make music, do something exhilarating or exciting. But stray away from resorting to hurtful actions or painful flow (violence, harsh words) to release your negative energy. Love and art will set you free.

For me, it’s easy to find flow because I was never closed off from it. I know when it’s time to get up and dance or make something…I listen to my soul when it feels it needs to release energy. When I get an idea or when I have emotions that are trying to escape, I simply let it flow. I never fight the flow. I embrace it.”

Nick

The second interviewee is Nick. He is an aspiring neuroscientist and a classically trained musician.

What does self-expression mean to you? 

Nick: “The way I look at self-expression is putting the lock in the key … kind of like flow. No matter what it is that you are doing, you are doing it your way. To me, it is akin to being comfortable in one’s skin. It is the combination of morals, beliefs, desires, etc that most natural drive a person in the present moment.”

What is your favorite way to express yourself? 

Nick: “Anytime I sit down to jam on some instruments or playing music for others.”

How often do you need to Express yourself?

Nick: “Every single day.”

Brenna

The third interviewee is Brenna, she is currently earning her masters in psychology.

What does self-expression mean to you?

Brenna: “Therapy. Self-expression is essential to mental/emotional/physical health. Taking even ten minutes out of every day to yourself is important. There are so many emotions/events that can affect your mental health in everyday life. Sometimes we don’t have anyone to talk to, sometimes we don’t know how to talk about it, sometimes we don’t want to talk about it, sometimes we aren’t even sure what/how/why we’re feeling the way we are. However, it needs to come out. With expression, we are free to feel however we want. We are able to use our entire self in every aspect to organize, understand, and let out our feelings in a constructive and beautiful way.

Self-expression is my purpose in life, my reason for living, and my motivation to share it with the world.”

How often do you need to express yourself?

Brenna: “I express every single day. Some days more than others. Like I previously stated, it is important to take even the smallest amount of time you can, to care for yourself.  Whether it be hooping, painting, yoga, or simply sitting with my plants (I might also talk to them) and drinking coffee, I need to express.

As someone with anxiety, hooping has acted as a lifeline for me on more than one occasion. It has helped me pull together everything bottled up, and channel it into something I have control over. I believe so strongly in expression, I am going to school for art therapy. I want other people to realize there is help. There is a better way.”

 

How do express you yourself? Do you think self-expression is necessary on a daily basis? I hope this article inspires you to let that creativity flow.

 

 

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15 Ways to Start Your Blogging Flow

Blogging every day has posed two challenges for me, finding the time and finding the flow. However, it is moreso the latter; I’ve found that these things can help find that flow:

  1. Taking a walk
  2. Blocking out one hour to blogging: put away your phone, close other tabs and just concentrate
  3. Listen to motivational podcasts episodes
  4. Daily Content/ Article Consumption
  5. Read for 30 minutes
  6. Yoga sequence — check out this one to spark creativity.
  7. Watching Ted Talks episodes
  8. Practicing mindfullness and being present with affirmations and mantras (check out these motivational Mantras).
  9. TAKE A HIKE — spending time in nature always gives me creativity
  10. Vist other blogs
  11. Brainstorm the theme— What are your categories? What are some reoccuring topic you write about? What are the most popular topics? Can you expand on them?
  12. Go for a drive or a bus ride to somewhere new
  13. Document your progress and plans for the future
  14. Listen to a music album you’ve never heard before
  15. Spend time doing one of your hobbies; pick up that paintbrush, basketball, or go for a run, whatever brings you happiness while help get those creative juices flowing!

Get over your fear of shipping and go with what comes to mind. Find what inspires you and always remember to trust your intiution.

 

My Focus for 2018

My phrase for 2017 was “planting the seeds and sprouting”; between discovering and beginning praxis, developing my jewelry and art business, and my immense personal growth, it was a big year for me. However, I have even bigger plans for 2018 — this year’s phrase is “growth and blooming”.

My focus for 2018 is the continuation of my personal and professional growth. Come June, I will start my apprenticeship and my career. I’m excited to see how it will evolve. I also hope to have 100 sales for my Etsy shop. In the short term, I am dedicating time to productivity like blogging, research, and reading and spending less time watching tv and procrastinating.

I am a huge advocate of health and wellness; I plan to blog health, wellness, positivity, or yoga related articles once per week. With that being said, I also want to grow my yoga practice and nail a hand-stand by the end of the year.

Overall, I plan on persisting the value-creation mindset and prioritizing positive habits. I know this is going to be a year of exponential growth for me and I’m stoked to see the outcome. What are your goals and plans for this year? Comment Below!

Just Think About Forward

In order to innovate, you have to think forward. Focus on today and what you can do to better yourself tomorrow; dwelling on the past will only halt your progress.  This article is inspired by a quote from Issac Morehouse, “Just think about forward”. He said this during one of our Praxis calls and it stuck with me.

The Praxis mindset is centered on constantly evolving and creating value. Improvement is the key to success — I like to wake up every day and think of 3 things I can do to better my situation. Today’s solutions are to:

  1. Spend 20 minutes on building my LinkedIn
  2. Watch one webinar on building Sales Skills
  3. Create one New Piece of Jewelry for my Etsy Shop

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Are you thinking forward? What are three things you are doing to better yourself today?

The Status Quo Sucks

A year ago, I was unsure of and unhappy with my college plan — then, I discovered the Praxis program. After researching the program and reading motivated, positive reviews back to back, I decided to drop out of college and pursue Praxis. My life took a 360 after my acceptance. I decided that the status quo sucks!

The Praxis program starts with a 6-month boot camp to build and hone in on your skills. Then, you work an apprenticeship to expand your skills. With Praxis, you learn by doing. This mindset is key to your success with this program

Why should you pursue a degree that doesn’t guarantee a job? Why not expedite the college education and avoid paying off loans for 20 years? With Praxis, you can be creating value and growing with a start-up business right now.

The self-motivated, positive, and value-creation mindset that Praxians share definitely breaks the mold. Without going against the status quo, I would have never found Praxis. Innovation is the key to long-lasting success, you can’t get that with the status quo; be bold, be different and always question.

Converting Browsers Into Buyers with a Sales Funnel

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is essentially a multi-step process that moves prospects into buyers. They are key to understanding your sales and marketing activity.

Most of the examples I found online are geared to multi-level, corporation companies; I decided to create my own for small eCommerce businesses. A lot occurs between the time that a potential customer enters your funnel, to completion of a purchase. Depending on your niche and sales model, they are typically 4-7 stages. My sales funnel is broken down into five levels:

1. Awareness:

This is when the visitor’s arrive at your shop or website. They typically arrive from ads, an enticing offer, or social media- anything that makes the visitor aware of your product. This is where strong branding and offers create leads. Now, your goal is to move them through the stages that will take them from visitor to buyer.

2. Interest:

Now that they are aware, you need to build their interest- At this stage, customers have looked through your website and favorited or bookmarked your shop, signed up for your mailing list, or followed your social media page.

3. Evaluation:

This is the “fence-sitting” stage where prospects debate following through. They will research your reviews and testimonials. This is also the stage where customers will discard options based on a considerations like price point, competition, shipping and quality – so, what makes your product stand out?

This is also a great stage to follow-up and implement an automated email sequence – you can include FAQ, testimonials, benefits of your products, or your current deals or promotions.

4. Decision:

At this stage, customer prospects decreases further, but the chances of closing a sale rise. This is the final choice to purchase or walk away.

With that being said, this is a great time for tactical moves – flash sales, bonus offers, free shipping, and promotions. The offers may entice the prospects to make the purchase

5. Action:

The final stage- the sale is completed. Although, you should always follow-up and practice customer retention tactics to create a return path.

My Sales Funnel Flow Chart:

Sales Funnel (1)

Now, time for a sales conversion. This can quickly give you valuable information on areas that need improvement versus areas that are succeeding. Across eCommerce industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. As of January 31st I had 6 sales and a total of 199 views on my Etsy- that is a 3% conversion rate.

total visits as of 1-31

Feel free to use my funnel tactics to create your own;  just keep in mind that its an evolving process, always modify and repeat!

 

Maximizing Revenue on Etsy

Now that you planted the seeds of your Etsy Shop, it is time to grow. You can also apply these tactics to other eCommerce businesses; simply adjust them to your niche. Here are some tactics I’ve found through trial and error and my own research:

 Customer Retention Tactics

Maintaining customer retention is integral for meeting your bottom line. Here are some tactics to earn repeat customers:

  1. Communication – Respond to questions and feedback, and kindly to any problems your customers may have within 24 hours. This is key to build trust with potential customers and building repeat business. Also, always follow-up the arrival of their product with an email to ensure satisfaction. This is a good time to ask them to review your product. Great customer service isn’t always easy, but it is key to a your business’s lasting success.
  2. Timely shipping and personal touches – I like to add a handwritten thank you note and sometimes include a small crystal with their order; hand-written notes are a quick way to go that extra mile for your customer.

3. Follow-up Within the first month of purchase, email them a coupon code to your shop. Coupons are a great way to build customer loyalty. You can offer free shipping, percentage off their next order, or a free item.

Up-Selling Tactics

  1. Suggestions and Bundling – Customers search with keywords on Etsy. When they search, all shops with items matching that agenda show up. They may look look at the item, but in order to get customer’s to explore the rest of your shop, put links to your other products in that collection, or matching pieces. Click the images to see the examples below:

JewelsFromMars
etsy hop 6
etsy shop 7

2. Freebies – Many savvy shoppers will add additional items to their shopping cart to receive something for free; especially free shipping. The question is how to affordably offer free shipping and balance the expense? First, factor the shipping into your expenses. Next, find a reasonable dollar amount that brings you more profit without taking a hit. Although, taking a short-term loss is a smart sacrifice if it brings loyal customers. Just make sure to follow up with customer-retention tactics!