Embracing Your ‘Weirdness’

zebra weirdWhen I started my  Creative Arts Staffing firm in college I had very little business experience and felt like a fish out of water because I didn’t know what to call it. When people would ask me what I did I usually gave them a watered down title to simply ‘fit in’. I wanted to be accepted, I wanted them to like me and I didn’t want to be looked at as an ‘all over the place ‘type of girl. So, I would just water it down. But I realized the more I stayed faithful to working what was in my hands I started to get more clarity on how to coin what I did. It was an AMAZING transformation when I became confident in who I was, what I did, and how I did it. At this point, instead of feeling inferior and intimidated I was the one others came to for advise on how to do what I did or create their own weird business ( I mean weird in the very best way).  It didn’t take long for me to realize that weird was good..weird was GREAT! Why? because people by nature get tired of hearing the same ole same ole…I discovered that a whole BUNCH of folks where walking around watering down their true passion because they were intimidated of their OWN goals, visions, and ideas. They didn’t know what to call it, and since they had never seen it done it was swept under the rug-no bueno!

So, today, I’ve decided to share a few pointers with you on how to embrace your uniqueness in the marketplace. Whether you are just starting out or have been at this thing for a while- it’s refreshing to know you aren’t alone!

  • 1. Understand That Leaders Go First

You have to realize, your vision to do something that’s never been done automatically puts you into the Leadership category. Leaders don’t wait around for someone else to pave the way- they blaze their own trail. So, if you feel as if your calling is can only be done by you in a way that only YOU can do it- you are in very good company my friend! Keep going!

  • 2. Know That Weird Is Great!

The sooner you embrace your uniqueness,  the sooner you SHINE and allow others to do the same. It totally turns the table to your advantage. Kind of  like Rudolph the red nose reindeer (okay- just go with me..) Did you see how he was isolated and alienated at first BECAUSE he stood out? He himself didn’t celebrate his uniqueness until later. But I bet if he would have been confident in knowing his little red nose was good thing-he could have been a lot happier a lot sooner! Once he was put in the coveted position of leadership is when everyone else started singing his praises- do you see what I’m saying? It’s all about perspective and perception. Celebrate your uniqueness NOW! I promise your life will be so much more enjoyable!

  • 3.Stay Linked Up With Other Like Minded Change-Makers (aka Weirdos)

You see, society doesn’t know what to do with what they have never seen before. It’s a daunting task to live out your purpose..alone. One of the best antidotes for staying authentic is to STAY linked up with other authentic people. So, that means you may have to totally switch your inner circle (and different seasons in life require this). Be intentional with seeking out like-minded people. When you open yourself up for it, those people will cross your path but it will be YOUR responsibility to make that connection and continue to build on it. Be careful, these Change Makers may not come in the packaging you expected so keep your eyes and heart open!

Most of all, enjoy where you are in life. Be present and strive to make today better than yesterday. The more you live in this place, the freer and more open you are to let all of your weirdness hang out! Be that light today! Shine Bright!

 

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Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of The sm(ART)ist Institute. The institute offers coaching to Creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer and choreographer Sway has toured internationally and continued her dance training in New York at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps Creatives design profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.smartartistinstiute.com

3 Things Artists & Creatives Should Learn From the US Gov Shut Down

Gov shut down

It’s amazing how one occurrence, such as the Government shut down, can change the outlook of someone’s life (or LOTS of lives for that matter). I’m not here to talk about my opinion about what should or shouldn’t be done with the state of the U.S. Government. However, I do think there are some vital lessons to be learned and applied to the culture of our business as entrepreneurs, yes even us Creatives : )

  • 1.) Open Government ≠ Job Security

I remember the morning my husband called me on his way home from his job explaining that he was just terminated. Our faith was definitely challenged in that moment but I also realized that although it took us by surprise- it didn’t take God by surprise. In this day in age, it is foolish to assume that there is any such thing as job security especially when someone else is signing your check. I believe any job is simply a REsource. But when we start looking to that job as THE source- that’s where the subtle problem begins. Whether you are working for yourself full time or clocking in on someone else’s time, it’s important to remember to stay balanced and ALWAYS be grateful. Since my husband’s transition into entrepreneurship our core beliefs have surely been tested but I KNOW we would not be where we are today had our circumstances not been agitated. Take a look at your life- when those unforeseen events come- remember to use it as an opportunity to flourish rather than fret.

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The Better You Get At It…

gabby douglasSo, I’ve been thinking about this principle lately, the more you do something- the better you get at it. Pretty basic right?? That’s what I thought too until I went a little deeper with it. Go with me… the more you do math- the better you get at it, the more you speak a foreign language the less foreign it becomes- right? So, if that principle holds true then…

The more you allow fear to rule your decisions in life– the better you get at it. The more you choose to let negative thoughts create your OWN glass ceiling, the better you get at it. The more opportunities you allow to slip right by you– the better you get at it…WOW! Puts a whole new perspective on things right?

This week, my focus is to be mindful of what I allow into my life, because whatever I decide to let in- the better I will get at it (the principle works EITHER way). So, my question to you is, what are you willing to break off and destroy from your life that is holding you back from REALLY (and I do mean REALLY) pursuing what makes your heart smile? What is it? Is it fear of the unknown, lack of understanding of how it will all turn out, is it the fear of ACTUALLY succeeding??  (there IS such a thing).

WHATEVER your thing is, I  authorize you to CUT.IT.OFF!! Break free one quality  decision at a time. You will NEVER live a fulfilled life if you continue to improve at being a lesser you. Be the BEST you. This isn’t an overnight process but it can start today. Choose life in EVERY situation- when negative thoughts run across your mind-speak the opposite (even if you don’t ‘feel’ it at the moment). Your words are powerful my friend. Lastly, make a CONSCIOUS decision to surround yourself with those who are further than you are- seek them out. These types of relationships will stretch you quickly and you are sure to see quick results!

Be sure to connect with me on social media and tell me about what you are changing THIS week!

Amazing things await you this week! I know it because God ONLY has good plans for you (don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise- not even yourself).

Enjoy your week!

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Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of The sm(ART)ist Institute. The institute offers coaching to Creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer and choreographer Sway has toured internationally and continued her dance training in New York at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps Creatives design profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.smartartistinstiute.com

 

Are You Giving Yourself a LETHAL Injection?

 

I know the title may sound a little ‘out there’ but how many times have we put off what we KNOW to do until a more ‘convenient’ time? Countless, I’m sure! Recently I have become increasingly aware of the the little voices that remind me to do tasks that for whatever reason aren’t something that I look forward to doing yet I know will yield results that I AM looking forward to. Sounds a bit crazy huh? Knowing what to do and NOT doing it (or in nicer terms ‘putting it off’) is procrastination and self- sabotage.

This is what I found procrastination does to one’s life culture:

  • Cause you to  forfeit opportunities that would ultimately take you where you want to be in life
  • Can have the tendency to bring on a overwhelming feeling of stress because a matter is left unresolved
  • Can bring on a spirit of laziness (and there’s no room for that when pursuing purpose)lethal injection
  • Allows distractions to DRAIN energy that should be used for your work
  • Invites other procrastinators into your life to make you feel comfortable with where you are….not

These are only a few ways that procrastination changes one’s life culture for the worse- as you can see, it is lethal! Stay AWAY!

My husband recently shared a story with about an uber successful man he read about. This man accredited a lot of his success to his willingness and COMMITMENT to his ‘DO IT NOW‘ approach . In order to motivate himself, he would chant ‘Do It Now’  to himself 50 times in the a.m. and 50 times in the evening EVERY day. (I actually chuckled when the hubby shared the story with me). However, needing a bit of motivation myself, I decided to try it-not thinking  my mind would know what in the world my mouth was referring to…well, I was in for a shock! The moment I chanted it about 10 times, ALL of the things that I secretly put off starting rushing to the forefront of my mind! It was crazy! The more I chanted the more motivated I became and actually started doing the things that somehow ALWAYS remained at the bottom of my ‘ To Do’ list.  (This goes to show how POWERFUL words are- but that’s for another post.)

 

Whether you try this chant or not is totally up to you, but something else that is up to you is your success. Only YOU have the power to make a decision to do what you KNOW you need to do… I encourage you to DO IT TODAY!  I find this truth in the life of every successful person I know:
Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today!
  Don’t rest until you do. (Prov 6: 4) Now this is quoted by only the wisest man who ever lived, that’s all.

 

Wherever you ULTIMATELY see yourself going, know that you WILL have to run a tight ship with following up and DOing things that you would like to see disappear… Once you are ready to invest this level of discipline in your small tasks, then you are ready for more! : ) Share with me some of the things you have decided to DO now and no longer put off. There is power in speaking it! (Twitter: @SwayonTheMove FB: Sway Buckley ARTpreneur Coach)

tele class

If you haven’t signed up for my FREE tele-class
The Top 5 Keys EVERY Creative Needs To Know to Build A Large Client Base…and Profit From It’

on Monday 9/30/13, DO IT NOW! : )  Even if you can’t make it, be sure to register for it as the recording will be sent to those who register for it.

http://smartai.wpengine.com/yourcall/

Never forget, your gift was made to transform lives!

Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of The sm(ART)ist Institute. The institute offers coaching to Creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer and choreographer Sway has toured internationally and continued her dance training in New York at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps Creatives design profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.smartartistinstiute.com

 

3 Steps to Being Unstoppable In Your Creative Business!

 

As artists, many of us have spent the better half of our lives learning and honing our craft- and that’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. However, the same passion for perfection that we have with our craft, I believe, we bring that mindset to the table concerning our business. Although I believe we ought to be excellent at what we do in business, as ARTpreneurs, the pursuit of ‘perfection’ is usually paralyzing. This perfection syndrome causes use to feel we are never good enough or never ready enough. I’m hear to tell you  that you have EVERYTHING you need to move forward right now. It’s not about not having enough money or even the know-how. You may not see each  and every step that awaits you, but you DO know one more thing you can do to get one step closer. About the money thing, listen, the ‘appearance’ of lack  gives you an opportunity to use your creative juices-this is when some of the best ideas come to life-when substitutes are used to make a dream come true. It’s all about perspective!

Let me encourage you today, you will never know what it feels like to live your dream life until you make up in your mind to move forward no matter what. Below you will find a few steps that have assisted tremendously while moving forward. Enjoy!

 

 

                                      How To Be Unstoppable: 3 Simple Steps

  1. Surround yourself with people smarter than you.                                                                                                                                 Every successful person has a mentor- that means you find those in your industry who you can model- and do it. You should have a mentor for every area of life (business, relationships, finances, etc.) Seek out these people, it will take effort but it is oh so worth it!
  2. You Must Have a Militant Mindset                                                                                                                                                      When if comes to your purpose, you must have a focused goal in mind and allow not even your own disappointments to stop you. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies. Get out of your own way and do the thing that God has created your to do!
  3. Schedule Your Successes Daily                                                                                                                                                               In order to stay on track, you must give yourself bite-size goals that ultimately lead up to a larger goal. It can be as simple as creating a To-Do list for your ultimate project.  You must care about it enough to schedule it. No victory is to small to be celebrated! Schedule EVERYTHING!

BONUS : ONLY use positive talk with yourself- you do talk to yourself, right? If you don’t you ought to! Speak encouraging LIFE-GIVING words over your projects,your day, your meetings, your negotiations, etc. Expect great things and always see the positive side of it!
One of my favorite Proverbs I often use to remind myself that I will win if I don’t quit! (and so will you!):
Proverbs 23:18
There is surely a future hope for you,and your hope will not be cut off’
These are principals that I subscribe to regularly and they definitely help me to stay focused. I know the best is ahead of you!
Also, I want to know your thoughts and would love to hear about some of the things you do to remain unstoppable!

Be sure to connect with me on FB at: Sway Buckley ARTpreneur Coach and Twitter: @SwayOnTheMove

Amazing things await you as you take each step of faith!!

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Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of smARTist Institute. The institute offers coaching to creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer/choreographer Sway  has toured internationally and continued her dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She authors a weekly blog that helps artists create profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.SmartArtistInstitute.com

 

Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of smARTist Institute. The institute offers coaching to creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer/choreographer Sway  has toured internationally and continued her dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps artist create profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.SmartArtistInstitute.com

– See more at: http://smartai.wpengine.com/tax-resources-for-artpreneurs-and-creative-solopreneurs/#sthash.oihogV6N.dpuf

Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of smARTist Institute. The institute offers coaching to creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer/choreographer Sway  has toured internationally and continued her dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps artist create profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.SmartArtistInstitute.com

– See more at: http://smartai.wpengine.com/tax-resources-for-artpreneurs-and-creative-solopreneurs/#sthash.oihogV6N.dpuf

Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of smARTist Institute. The institute offers coaching to creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer/choreographer Sway  has toured internationally and continued her dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps artist create profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.SmartArtistInstitute.com

– See more at: http://smartai.wpengine.com/tax-resources-for-artpreneurs-and-creative-solopreneurs/#sthash.oihogV6N.dpuf

Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of smARTist Institute. The institute offers coaching to creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer/choreographer Sway  has toured internationally and continued her dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps artist create profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.SmartArtistInstitute.com

– See more at: http://smartai.wpengine.com/tax-resources-for-artpreneurs-and-creative-solopreneurs/#sthash.oihogV6N.dpuf

Tax Resources for ARTpreneurs and ‘Creative’ Solopreneurs

 

As yTaxtimeou know tax season is upon us and as a ‘Creative’ you may slightly cringe at the thought of April 15th…or you may sweep it under the rug as if the day doesn’t exist at all! The latter was my story when I started my first business. I quickly learned from my past mistakes. When I started my business in college I didn’t have a clue of what I needed to do concerning paying taxes as a business owner. This however was no excuse not to educate myself.  I didn’t even know there was tax help that  existed at that time.  Many artists go without knowing there are FREE tax resources to assist in the process. Of course,  having your own CPA is preferable, but in the meantime, you want to stay IRS compliant and informed.

One of the main reasons I am as passionate as I am about properly handling finances is because I believe if you are faithful over a few you will be made ruler over more. We often say how we want to have more, but if we are not good stewards over what is in our hands now, we clearly are not ready for more- not matter how talented we are.

As responsible ARTpreneurs™ you should think about these things and implement best practices year-round:

  • Familiarize yourself with what your business tax structure requires (i.e. DBA vs. LLC) Do your research and see which option best suites where you are  but most importantly where you are GOING.
  • When subcontracting others, keep a file of your contracts/payments for the year in a separate file/folder.(Google Drive is a great resource to store information that can be accessed remotely.)
  • When hiring subcontractors ALWAYS have them complete a W-9 form PRIOR to starting their contract (www.irs.gov has this form available). Scan and file this form for end of the year filings.
  • Save and pay your estimated quarterly taxes to Uncle Sam to prevent penalties (contact your local office if you do not have a CPA yet to assist with this).

As previously stated, hiring a CPA/book keeper is definitely the best way to go, but even then there are some items you should be aware of…hey, it’s your money.

Here are a few resources (most are free):

Forms:

  •  Irs.gov (you can print right from the site)
  • If you have or will sub-contract others to work for you: www.track1099.com is a great and affordable resource for issuing 1099s

FREE Tax Preparation Assistance:

  •   Check with your local Community College as they frequently offer Free Tax Assistance (for the community, not just students).
  •   Score.org: This is a GREAT site with a plethora of resources for small business. You can even find a retired tax professional and request  one-on-one assistance. It’s great!
  •  AARP Foundation Tax Aid 888-687-2277 (no it’s not only for seniors)
  •   MyFreeTaxes.com Helpline toll-free 1 (855) 698-9435 or 855-My-Tx-Help (making  less than 57K)

Time is of the essence- there’s no excuse. If you haven’t already, go get your taxes in order- before they get YOU in order.

If you are ready to take your creative business to the next level through innovative business strategies please e-mail [email protected] to find out about Thriving Artist coaching programs with Sway.

Would you like to use this write-up in your newsletter or e-zine?

Please feel free to do so. Just include this complete paragraph with this post.

Sway Buckley is the CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of smARTist Institute. The institute offers coaching to creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business to the next level. As a professional dancer/choreographer Sway  has toured internationally and continued her dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps artist create profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.SmartArtistInstitute.com

 

CELEBRATE THE BABY STEPS!

 

 

 

 

If you are anything like me, as an artist, there are so MANY creative and out right crazy dreams swimming around in your head! At times, it takes a minute to hone in on just one and work on it with the end goal in mind. Then, here comes an obstacle and you haven’t even made it out the front door- you get through it. But then there’s another… and another. After jumping through a few hoops and trying to get around some unexpected detours your finish line slowly fades into a distant haze. It may not appear as attainable as it once did and frustration comes a lot easier than patience in these times.  I want to share with you that you are not alone! ‘Success’, no matter how you define it- does not come without obstacles. If it were that easy everyone would do it- right?

No matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, always remember that life very rarely goes how you intend. In fact, it’s wise to say that a journey void of obstacles simply does not exist. The one thing that determines when or if you attain that dream is how you respond to the obstacles. Never compare or despise your progress. Keep a positive outlook by Celebrating the Baby Steps!