October Business and Life Review

by | Articles, Career, Creativity

Hey there, beautiful humans! 

This is a monthly series where I share a behind-the-scenes peek into the highlights, the challenges, what I’ve recently created, what I’m currently consuming, and some goals for the next month. 

October feels like it flew by so quickly. 

There was some meaningful progress on some big-picture goals, but I also feel like October was a month of reflection, regrouping, and deciding what to do next. Spoiler alert: In many ways, I still feel like I’m just figuring everything out. But here’s a recap of what’s been going on. 

1. I FINALLY received the copy notes on the workbook and I designed the cover.

It’s wild. I waited nearly two months to receive the notes, but had less than a week to return the edited manuscript to the publisher. (Talk about hurry up and wait). Fortunately, despite the copious notes, the majority of the edits were simple decisions on word choice, grammar, and some slight structural changes. So I turned it around quickly and I can confidently say that I am beyond proud of how far this book has come. 

While waiting on the notes, I had time to start the process of making the visual edits and spent a lot of time creating new illustrations. One thing that works for me, in rapidly creating art is to develop rules. In this example, I decided that I wanted to make different scenes in the book based on the different types of nature: forest, ocean, sky, desert, lake, mountains… This ended up giving me a variety of ideas on how to illustrate the book without feeling like I was running out of ideas. 

The biggest book news, though, was that I designed the cover options and we have a select. I’m still working through the color variations, but I think it will be an interesting option that hopefully will encourage people to pick it off the shelves and flip through it. 

2. Youtube continues to be my favorite side hustle. 

In October, I found my groove in creating some new types of video including a new studio vlog and a visual meditation video of positive affirmations that I’m super proud of. 

Making video is 100% a labor of love.

It’s time intensive, challenging, and you have to be an expert at wayyyy too many things, but I actually enjoy it a lot. (like more than most things)

Becoming a better storyteller is paramount for my growth as a creative, so I’m using this medium as a way to become an expert at communicating ideas. 

The biggest highlight here is that I actually have fit 200 video views on a video. This is a HUGE accomplishment because the normal video views are between 60-80 views. I’m hoping that if I continue to post regularly, this will continue to grow exponentially. 

3. I sent out real-life gifts to the Patrons. 

This time around I was able to build a collection of 5 postcards with envelopes that I packaged up and sent to my greatest supporters. That was a lot of work, but something that I always wanted to try so I was proud of the effort. It included, buying a label printer and mail scale. And most terrifying, braving a trip to the post office (lol) 

What did you think? Any feedback, thoughts, or new product requests. I’m def all ears. 

4. The coaching continues and I’m loving it. 

I added on a new coaching client in October and I’m genuinely enjoying being able to talk to people and learn more about what they need to get beyond fear and start to work on the things that they are the most passionate about. 

Doing that has also encouraged me to build out a new tool called the Intentional Creator Framework. It’s still in early days, but I see it as the basis of my philosophy on growth and sustainability for creators. It focuses on 6 key areas: 

– Setting EPIC Goals 

– Discovering Your Why 

– Defining Your Audience 

– Building Revenue Streams 

– Designing Your Growth Engine 

– Establishing Your Productivity System 

I’m incredibly passionate about teaching, so I want to continue to build this into something that’s even more meaningful that eventually I can share with a broader audience than just the people I do creative coaching with because I think it could really help people to push through the fear and start building. 

I’m still on the mission to work with my first 10 clients. And then I plan to launch a group coaching program so I can work with a larger group of people (for a more affordable cost) so I can impact even more people on their journey to creating and conquering. 

5. I have a re-energized purpose in making a sustainable living as a full-time creator. 

I’m nearing the end of my 6-month experiment of being a full-time artist and now it’s time to start making some money. Otherwise, I’ll have to go back to work which isn’t bad. I could never be mad at a full-time job that has balance and gives me the money to pay rent and eat good food. 

But I also very much enjoy creating every day. It’s literally all that I want to do. I’m not sure if I’ll figure it out. But I’m spending the next 3 months trying as many things as possible to see what sticks. 

  1. I launched the new SoCurious Shop with a variety of fun new shirts. Technically this launched in early November, but I’ve been secretly working on it behind the scenes for quite some time. We already sold 5 shirts which I’m incredibly happy about. My goal is to continue to add new products to the shop over the next few weeks. 
  2. I also launched Good Morning Sunshine, a subscription text series that includes daily reminders that life is beautiful. 
  3. I hope to build and launch a new group coaching program that I will promote in December that will officially launch at the beginning of the new year. 

Things I created in October

Motivational Draw With Me – Finding Your Purpose and Learning to stop settling

How to Reset Your Life When Everything is Falling Apart

(This is actually the first video I created, but I made it live on my Youtube channel)

Studio Vlog 01 • Let’s draw plants, meditate, and get a haircut

Positive Affirmations For a Mental Reset

I was featured on the Woowoo BFF podcast hosted by Andi Eaton. It was a really fun conversation. In it, we chat about: 

  • Getting back to who we were as children
  • Justin’s journey: moving to a new city, taking a job as a creative director
  • Quitting his job to illustrate a book and build a wellness community
  • Embracing and owning the word “artist”

Currently reading: 

The Dark Archive (The Invisible Library Novel Book 6) by Genevieve Cogman (in progress)

Why I love it: This fast paced sci fi and fantasy book series blends everything I love about books, the victorian era, and murder mysteries.

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon 

This is the followup book to one of my favorite books of all time Steal Like an Artist. I’ll be honest, sharing my work is not specifically a challenge I have, so it’s not hitting in the same way as his first book. But I’m a super fan so I’ll probably power through it quickly.  

The Referable Speaker: Your Guide to Building a Sustainable Speaking Career—No Fame Required by Michael Port and Andrew Davis 

This came highly recommended from my friend Mallory who is always dropping knowledge bombs. I’m only a few pages in, but I’m excited about what this could do for my speaking business. 

Currently watching: 

Love is Blind on Netflix 

It’s terrible, like honestly trash TV and I don’t even like the characters. But I keep watching. The plot is that people date without seeing each other. Propose to each other after 9 days. And then have a month to decide if they’re going to get married. Along the way the producers add ridiculous chaos.

For The People on Hulu 

This is a Shondaland procedural law show that I actually really enjoyed. It’s fast paced and full of emotional monologues about equity in the legal system, without tipping over into the unrealistic extremes of Scandal. 

The School of Good and Evil on Netflix 

I’m desperately afraid of scary movies and I tend to avoid gore at all costs, so that tends to limit my viewing options during the sppokiest of months. But this was a super cute, easy to watch movie about a school for heroes and their rival school for villains and the chaos that ensues when two young women end up at the wrong school. It definitely could’ve been 30-45 minutes shorter, but I enjoyed immersing myself in the world for a while. 

Goals Recap from last month

1. Take professional headshots. Still incomplete

Why cant I do this? 

2. Continue working on the new workbook. Update the art and text based on publisher feedback.

Completed the copy revisions. Lots of work left on the visual edits though. 

3. Book 6 new introductory calls and convert 2 additional coaching clients. 

I only had 4 calls last month and only added on one new coaching client. 

4. Launch a new online shop.

Completed!!!!!!!! 

5. Release a new product (This is still a secret, so no spoilers yet)

This will launch mid-month. There’s a spoiler above. 

6. Post 4 new videos on Youtube

Completed!!!!!!!!

My Goals for November

1. Take professional headshots

2. Continue working on revisions to the new workbook. 

3. Optimize the new online shop and add new product types beyond just shirts 

4. Launch Good Morning Sunshine

5. Post 3 new videos on Youtube

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