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  1. Making time for the things you love

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    Now our #MakingTime series is over, we have done a little calculation: If everyone who took part took on board even a couple of the 31 time-saving tips we shared and saved just 5 minutes a day, over the next year, they would collectively save nearly SEVEN YEARS! That’s a lot of extra time for doing what they love.

    Time is precious. Minimise the time you spend on things that aren’t taking you towards your dreams, and spend the rest on things you love! For anyone who missed Making Time you can sign up and start anytime here: http://dowhatyouloveforlife.com/makingtime

  2. What is your real story? What is your Real Wild Bio?

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    What is your story?

    At Do What You Love, we believe that the journey to a more fulfilled and happy life starts with knowing yourself better.

    Understanding what you know, how valuable your experiences (big and small) are, and where you have come from is invaluable when making choices about your life’s path, personally and professionally. It also gives you confidence in yourself, which is crucial when you need to make bold moves.

    Often, when trying to get a new job or change careers, you’re also asked to provide a CV or résumé — but does that really capture the essence of who you are and what you’re capable of?

    Can you imagine how different things would be if we had to apply for job vacancies with a document that not only showed that we are professionally competent, but that we are extraordinary in our own way.

    Volunteering, traveling, caring, informal training, adventures, our interests and passions, people who we meet along the way – these are all vital ingredients in the recipe that makes you YOU.

    All these things you have done, seen, felt and experienced have contributed to who you are today. We think they should also be added to the list of what you can offer to any employer, and so we created our very own version of the CV/resume.

    It is a quick run-down of all of the important moments in your life so far, giving a snapshot of your world. Not a list of job titles, but a catalogue of the experiences you’ve had, the things you have learned, and the difference you have made.

    We invite you to use our free Real Wild Bio e-book to develop your own ultimate resume, to show people who you really are. You can use this to help you develop a fantastic bio for your website or blog, or actually use it next time you apply for a job.

    This exercise highlights your most meaningful experiences so far and uncovers the direction you are headed. Sometimes life can feel a little random, but when we look back we can often connect the dots. By encouraging you to look back on your past experiences, the Real Wild Bio helps you connect those dots and make you realise how things are related, sometimes in the most unexpected ways, and that you do have a direction after all.

    Victoria’s Real Wild Bio

    We asked one of our course alumni Victoria to share her Real Wild Bio. It was clearly an eye-opening exercise for her. She says,

    I have always worked in a corporate environment, and the more I advanced professionally, the more I lost sight of the passions and interests I had developed when I was younger. Filling in my Real Wild Bio has confirmed my need to have a more balanced life and has also reminded me of the things that I love doing and that I want to do more of.

    It has also highlighted the fact that although I have a few constant passions, what I really love is to learn and try new things and have new experiences, whatever they are, which I now realise is where my love for travel and reading comes from.”

    Victoria’s timeline:

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    After going through the exercises and mapping out your timeline, you will have a pretty clear idea of who you are, what you believe in, what you are motivated for, what you want from life and what you have to offer. This is your Real Wild Bio.

    Victoria’s Real Wild Bio is:

    “I am an inquisitive, challenge seeking individual with a need to put myself in new situations to live great experiences that will teach me more about myself and the world. In life, I am looking for encounters with likeminded people, surprises and wonderment. I can offer open-mindedness, curiosity, practicality and a will to take on a variety of tasks.”

    Ready to do yours? See what the Real Wild Bio will reveal to you here:

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    Do What You Love e-course: Coming soon!

    The next Do What You Love e-course starts on October 13. Registration will be open for a limited time only.

    If you too have the ambition of a more fulfilled life, where you can truly be yourself and do what you love in a sustainable way, make sure you don’t miss this opportunity. Find out more here. It could change everything.

    Beth

     

    PS If you want some further reading on discovering your direction in life, try these fantastic resources:

  3. Love enterprise…

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    Are you a business owner who is no longer inspired by their work?

    Or are you massively passionate, but feel out of your depth?

    Is your business ‘successful’ in the eyes of the world, but you know you need support in certain areas (without anyone knowing you are asking for it)?

    Are you a creative person who hates number crunching? Or an avid right brainer who wants to flex your left brain muscles?

    Whether you’re just starting out, want to fall back in love with your business or want to take it to the next level, Do What You Love’s courses, tools and support can provide all the help and inspiration you need to succeed. This month we’ll be sharing lots of useful tips, interviews and resources to help you with your business journey. Stay tuned!

  4. #MakingTime Day 31 (the last day!)

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    “Giving, loving, caring, empathy and compassion, going beyond ourselves and stepping out of our comfort zones to help serve others – this is the only viable answer to the multitude of problems the world is facing… From the depths of our compassion, we can free ourselves of all that limits our imagination about what is possible.” – Adriana Huffington in Thrive
    As we come to the end of our 31 days of Making Time, it feels like the perfect time to create a gift of thanks. So today… 

    Your Day 31 Making Time challenge:  

    For one hour… make a gift for yourself or someone else

    There’s something really special about homemade gifts. They’re by far and away the best kind of present to give and the best kind to receive. 

    The simplest things, like a photo album or scrapbook of memories, cookies you’ve baked yourself, a CD of meaningful songs, a blank recipe book filled with your favourite recipes, your own framed artwork – a sketch, painting, poem, or short story you’ve done – can mean so much more than anything you’ve bought.

     

    Take one whole hour to make something special for yourself, or for someone you love. What would you love? Or what would that special someone really appreciate?

     

    Find somewhere peaceful where you can sit without being interrupted and create, create, create! As you make it, think about why you think so much of that person, and what you are grateful to them for. If you are making the gift for yourself, this is the time to give yourself a virtual hug.

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.

  5. If you lack confidence then this is for you

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    What if… you had more confidence?

    In our recent survey where we asked “What is stopping you doing what you love?” nearly half of you told us that you are held back by a lack of confidence. Sound familiar?

    We’ve all been there. It’s where the ‘What ifs’ kick in. What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if my life changes too much and I can’t cope? What if I can’t sustain this in the long run? What if this is not the right choice? What if after all this it still doesn’t get better?

    Hey you! Give yourself a break. Stop being so critical towards yourself before it has even happened. Look at yourself as someone else would, as objectively as possible, thinking about all the good things you have achieved already. Be kind to yourself. That is a much better place to start.

    I remember a couple of years back seeing an article in Marie Claire Magazine launching a new mentoring programme with some of the top female entrepreneurs in the country. They were on the hunt for the next generation of exciting young female businesswomen, and were planning to pair them up with women with proven business success to help them leap forward. What an incredible opportunity! My first thought was, “I really want to do this.” My second thought was, “Why would they pick me?” My third thought was, “What if I enter and don’t get chosen?” But then I came back to my first thought, reminded myself that I really wanted to do it, and thought, “But what if I DO get picked. That would be awesome.”

    So I took a deep breath and entered. I remembered getting the call for interview at the imposing Conde Nast Publishing building in London, and getting very flustered about what to wear. Again I had a crisis of confidence – “What if there’s someone better at the interview?” “What if I don’t know what to say?” etc etc. But I came back to that other What If… “What if it goes brilliantly, and I get picked?”

    So I picked out a fabulous dress and my best heels, swished down to London, flew through the interview and got chosen as one of the 16 most exciting young female entrepreneurs in the UK. What? Little old me? And what a phenomenal opportunity it was too. I got paired up with Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards (Europe’s largest urban music festival, with Kanye West, Adele, Jay-Z and Jessie J among the artists who have taken to the MOBO stage). Kanya is one of the most inspiring and brilliant women I have ever met, and her insight and guidance was absolutely crucial in the early days of Do What You Love.

    So keep asking yourself ‘What if’, but instead of ‘What if it goes wrong?’ ask yourself ‘What if it goes right?’ Then imagine yourself in that situation, where it has all gone right, and see what that does for your confidence.

     

    Your secret weapons

    Knowing yourself better is paramount to doing what you love and it is also paramount in your quest for more confidence. That’s why it’s a big part of the Do What You Love e-course, and why I want to share a useful exercise with you today.

    The Do What You Love e-course helps you get to know who you really are, what’s important to you, what past experiences have influenced you the most, your strengths and weaknesses, and your attitude to money, time and life in general. Knowing yourself better will help you have a more rational approach to what you want to do and how while quieting your doubts and stopping you from being too emotionally overwhelmed

    There are a lot of exercises in the course that help you know yourself better, and today I’d like to share one called “Your Secret Weapons”. This exercise helps you realise you actually have much more power than you might think.

    You can download the interactive PDF here:

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    (It is called ‘Explorer’s Log 15’ as it is just one of the many exercises in the Do What You Love e-course)

    Please share your secret weapons in the comments below – I’d love to hear what they are, and how you felt about doing the exercise.

    Use those secret weapons to start on your journey and remind yourself of them often along the way too, don’t let yourself forget how strong you are

    What else can you do to build your confidence? Surround yourself with people who can support you, who give you energy and make you feel better about yourself. This is HUGE. Start seeking out those people today.

    I won’t lie, you will feel doubtful, be scared, overwhelmed, and make mistakes as you push yourself towards doing what you love, but it’s all part of the journey and you will come out of this experience stronger and more resourceful than you ever thought possible.

     

    Your confidence mantras

    In its non-spiritual form, a mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently. The purpose of which is to put yourself in a certain state of mind. When we released the survey and invited your comments, many of you hasked for phrases that would keepyou motivated and give you some food for thought. We love beautiful words and images here at Do What You Love, so here’s a little compilation of our confidence boosting thoughts for you to enjoy. Take a moment to really think about them, and how they can relate to you on your own journey towards a happier life.

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    You can get more of these inspiring words on our ‘Words to live by’ page here. And if it’s permission you need: permission granted

    - Beth

     

    PS Here are some useful resources if you want to read more into the subject of confidence and how to boost it

  6. #MakingTime Day 30

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    Just one more day to go so make the most of creating space and time for things that make you feel alive!

    Your #MakingTime Day 30 challenge:

    For 30 minutes… turn off all the technology in the house and do something alone or as a family.

    “We’ve started stopping thoughts half-way down their track. We’ll be thinking something, and then ‘beep beep’ or ‘ping’ and off we go, our almost-formed thought left discarded. Thoughts – and discussions – need to go to one place, then the next place, then the next… and finally on to an idea. It isn’t an express route. Sometimes it takes a lot of turnings to get there.”
    – Frances Booth in ‘The Distraction Trap’

    Technology can be incredibly distracting. TVs, mobiles, laptops, ipads… everywhere we look there’s some electrical device vying for our attention. If we’re not careful it can dominate our lives, interrupt all our conversations, and stop us connecting properly to those we care about. It also stands in the way of allowing our ideas to fully evolve.

    Today turn off the technology and tune into yourself, or if you have a family, the kids. Go for a walk and have a picnic in the woods, make a time capsule, go swimming, cook a three course dinner, create self-portraits – or draw each other, have a board game and jigsaw day, get outdoors and do some gardening – the possibilities are endless!

    It needn’t cost a thing and we guarantee you’ll go to bed happier for having a truly amazing, action-packed day of fun. And your brain? Rested and protected from digital distractions, it might just give you some of your best ideas yet…

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.

  7. Making time for your passions – a shared story

    Paula Joerling is a freelance illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia, whose designs are primarily used for the gift and tabletop industry. Paula works primarily in watercolor and collage and often incorporates fabric, stitched paper and any beautiful objects she find into her art. Here she explains why she loves working for herself and shares the secret of making time…

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    The desire to work for myself probably started in grad school. I hated that I had to be there between certain hours and on certain days, I didn’t mind the work, it was the schedule that got to me. Sub-consciously I knew that a life of regulation wasn’t for me and I better figure out how to keep my freedom. Fortunately I was creative and recognized that this was a possible outlet.

    It’s difficult to put into words what it means to get up in the morning, walk the 10 steps to my studio, and create all day. Although there are deadlines and I work pretty much seven days a week, I am in charge of my schedule. There’s no time clock, no office politics, no cubicle and no one telling me that I can’t sing out loud. It is pure heaven, it really is; just typing these words puts a smile on my face.

    Coming from a long line of creative types, I come by my abilities naturally. My grandfather taught me to paint and my grandmother taught me to sew and knit. When a holiday rolled around my sister and I were commandeered by my mother to make a plethora of decorations, cards and gifts, some of which I still have.

    I don’t think it ever occurred to be in anything but a creative field of some sort and although I have always freelanced in creative jobs; I got started rather late in life as an illustrator. Sometime around my college years I began to suffer from anxiety and had a horrible lack of confidence. Thinking back on this always saddens me and I wonder if things would have happened a little faster had this not been the case. If I could go back in time and give myself a gift it would be a big basket of confidence. Confidence and faith in yourself are really the two most important things that a person needs in this field. I am happy to report that I now possess these two gifts in abundance (perhaps at some point I did time travel).

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    The most difficult part of being a freelance artist is financial. You are never quite sure when or how much money will be coming in so you have to be pretty frugal (my husband is also an artist so neither of us has an unvarying income). Nevertheless I would choose this creative lifestyle over financial stability any day.Making time for everything now I run my own business can be challenging. Here are five things that help me make best use of my time so I stay focussed and on track…

    1. Set intentions

    At the start of each week I make a list of everything I’d like to accomplish in the week ahead. I don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t all happen but I try to stick to it as best I can. I find it helps to set goals and give myself deadlines.

    2. Make a plan 

    I always have a plan to help me achieve my goals for the week ahead. Some people might call this a “schedule” but I don’t like that word! As I blog, have an online shop and use social media for promotions, I have a time slot to do these things in so that I’m consistent.

    3. Know what is distracting and use it as a motivator

    Most creative people are easily distracted and I am no exception. I tell myself that only once I’ve accomplished x, y and z can I look at Facebook or Pintrest, or check my emails or do anything else that I know will distract me.

    4. Know when to take five

    If I’m getting frustrated because something isn’t going right, I stop and do something to clear my head. I have a swing in my studio so I’ll often jump on that to relax. Laying on the floor and staring up at the ceiling works well too.

    5. Just get going

    Sometimes starting a new project – drawing, painting, writing, whatever it is – can be daunting. Especially if fear creeps and we start to doubt ourselves . The way I beat this is by starting to research or drawing out ideas. I keep in mind that I can always start over. Works every time.

    Top tip! 

    I can’t live without the sticky notes app on my computer. I have notes that remind me what needs to get accomplished daily, weekly and longer term. There’s nothing more satisfying then deleting notes as I complete tasks.

    Everyday I learn more and get better at my craft. I hope that I can keep doing this on my own terms and that my best days lie ahead of me. My hope is that I can find a way to inspire others to take a deep breath, move beyond the fear and do what they love doing.

    [Images courtesy of Paula Joerling. To find out more about Paula visit her website here]

  8. Are you doing what you love?

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  9. Join us for seven days of PaperLove

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    Join ’7 Days of PaperLove’ to be in with the chance to win this kit and a free place on PaperLove: the e-course (starting in November) [Image: Uli Schade]

    Join us and our friends at Paperphilia for seven consecutive days of PaperLove to celebrate papery goodness and ignite your own paper passion. Challenge yourself to fold, cut, collect and see paper in a whole new way. It’s free and it starts Tuesday 7 October.  Register HERE for “7 days of Paper Love” and see below for the chance to win a free place on our upcoming online course PaperLove.

    For a chance to be featured on the Paperphilia blog and to be entered into the draw to receive a gift voucher for the next PaperLove class, please follow the instructions below to sign up.

    Here’s how to take part:

    (1) Register HERE for “7 days of Paper Love” to have the challenge posts sent directly to your inbox each morning (from Tues 7 Oct to Mon 13 Oct) and officially sign up for the challenge.

    (2) Join the challenge and share your images on facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest using the hashtag #PaperLovechallenge

    (3) If you would like to be entered into the draw to win a free place on the PaperLove e-course (including a delicious kit!), please be sure to use the hashtag in as many places as possible when you post your image. You will be entered each time you post to twitter, facebook, instagram & pinterest using hashtag #PaperLovechallenge.

    If you write a blog post about the challenge be sure to add a link to the bottom of your post and email us a link to your blog. This will also be counted as an entry to the giveaway and you can enter as many times as you wish.

    (4) We will also gather images to showcase on our blog and facebook albums once the challenge is over with a link to you/your website or blog and send this out to our subscribers.

    (5) The winner of the free place on the upcoming online course PaperLove, including a delicious kit of stationery goodies, will be announced on the Paperphilia blog on Friday 17 October.

    Please be aware that by joining Seven Days of PaperLove you give your permission to be added to the mailing lists of Paperphilia and Do What You Love. You can unsubscribe at any time.

    Any questions? Drop our friends a line at love@paperphilia.co.uk

  10. #MakingTime Day 29

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    “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” – Gore Vidal

    Your Day 29 Making Time challenge: For 29 minutes… get a haircut, paint your nails or do something else to change your appearance

    Sometimes changing the way we look can alter our outlook on life and shake up our perception of ourselves. Small changes can have a big impact when it comes to updating our appearance. Try one or more of these simple makeover tricks (some of them are more for the girls, but there are some for the guys too!) …

    - See a new you! Fashion glasses will make for a fun new work look.

    - Electrify your eyes: Swap your usual brown/black eyeliner for bright liners
    and eye shadows to make the your natural eye colour stand out, or try coloured contact lenses.

    - Lashtastic: apply a couple of individual long lashes to the outer corners of your eyes to create a bold, confident, everyday look.

    - Do your hair differently: try a new style, change the side you wear your parting, swap the hairspray for a headband or invest in some big Velcro rollers to give it extra oomph! Or for the guys, try some product in it!

    - Be bold: take a walk on the wild side and use a bold red, coral, or pink lip colour to glam up your look.

    - Unveil new nails: Instead of oval-shaped tips painted in pale-pink polish file your nails straight across and then round off the corners and paint in a colour you love.

    - Accessorise: Invest in a new pair of gloves and a matching scarf, a new belt for that little black dress. A few small updates can have a big impact on how you look.

    - Top it off: A stylish hat can instantly change your attitude – try a fab fedora or printed bucket hat to add instant chic sentiment.

    - Try a new perfume or aftershave: Switch up your scents to mimick your moods and try perfumed lotions or mists for more variation.

    - Add colour: Ban yourself from wearing black for a day and see what difference it makes.

    Ask yourself: How do you feel? Has anyone commented on your new look? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror?

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.