What the quarantine can teach us about business

This month has been a whirlwind of emotions to say the least. Since my last blog post, I’ve been in quarantine while homeschooling my children, experienced a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Salt Lake, and watched as small business owners everywhere were forced to shut their doors to the public. To say it has been a difficult time would be an understatement.

In the business world, you’re taught that every obstacle is an opportunity for growth.

This has been the biggest obstacle for not only my business, but business owners everywhere. I specialize in creative marketing and brand refinement, and the fact that many of the businesses that have hired me are now being held financially and emotionally hostage has taken a toll on everyone.

Change is uncomfortable. But stepping outside of your comfort zone is the only way to grow.

I’ve learned very quickly that a lot of what my clients have been offering can be done remotely. Stores are moving to online only platforms, and I’ve been here to assist those businesses as they transition into a new normal. Luckily for us, we live in a day and age where a lot of businesses can remain open and connected thanks to the technology we have available to us. The same cannot be said for businesses of past catastrophic events.

Despite how terrible things have been, we are beginning to see the light through the clouds.

Last month, I finalized the sale of all my brick and mortar business shares because I was overwhelmed with being pulled in too many directions. I had too much on my plate and chose to do what was best for myself and my family by going fully remote. At the time, I was not sure if I was happy with the decision, but knew I needed to take a step back and refocus. Now that I’ve seen what this month has brought, I am thankful I am here to be with my daughters as I’ve experienced some of my biggest fears as a parent.

Today we’re establishing a new normal. The world may be forever changed, but we’ll be ready for it.

I can feel the earth shifting into a new state. Perhaps I say that because my whole world has been rocked, both figuratively and literally this month, but I have hope for the future. The world is coming together to solve this crisis in a way I’ve never seen before. People are putting aside their differences for the greater good. Solutions are being developed for major world problems and hopefully these positive changes will stay with us well past the point that the threat of the pandemic is resolved.

What ways can you use the lesson of the quarantine to change your business?

I know it is hard to remain positive at a time like this. I know there are other ways to learn lessons and solve problems. But we as a society are now being challenged by change. Many teachers for example are now learning how to digitize their lessons, film their courses, and offer them remotely. Many healthcare agencies are learning how to connect their providers with patients via video chat so that they can then move forward with treatment. Many brick and mortar businesses are finding ways to offer their products online instead.

I hope that you can stay strong during this crisis and find the strength to breathe life into your hopes, while rising above your fears.

I am challenging myself to do the same.

xoxo, @michaelavelarde

#quarantinelife #findinganewnormal #smallbusinessowner #businessblog #womeninbusiness #mompreneur #bossbabes #artistsofutah #challenges #utahcreatives #contentcreator #graphicdesign #photography #writing

How saying “No” more frequently can free up your time for a more fulfilling “Yes.”

How do we find a delicate balance between work and life? The best answer is to be willing to say “No” more frequently. This doesn’t mean that you should turn down every opportunity that comes your way, but it’s important to be mindful when agreeing to doing something new.

It’s okay to say “let me think about it” or “let me run the numbers and get back to you.”

There will be a lot of great opportunities that come your way, but the timing with which that opportunity enters your life, the amount of energy and money you have to support it, and where you’re at physically and mentally also play a large role in your success. This same mindset can be applied to not only business ventures, but career changes, family life, and more.

The question we need to ask ourselves is “How much is enough?” Imagine your life like a plate of food in front of you. How much are you able to take on? If you keep over-filling your plate, what you’ve agreed to will turn into a giant heap. It will be messy, and you’ll end up feeling upset, tired, and frankly a little bloated.

If opportunity is like a buffet, you can be okay with taking only what you need, knowing that you can always return.

There will always be opportunities awaiting you when you’re ready for more. A big disadvantage we have with social media is the constant reminder of what our competition is doing. However, the average person tends to forget that you don’t want to be doing what the competition is doing, otherwise you’ll never set yourself apart from anyone else.

I challenge you starting this week to put only the things on your plate that speak to your soul.

Do what makes you happy, don’t try to imitate others. If you struggle with saying “No,” to opportunity, and are constantly feeling overburdened, try focusing on what you truly want to accomplish. What are your personal goals? Write them down. Being authentic in choosing your opportunities will help you in the decision-making process of when and how to say “No.”

I hope this advice will help you to feel more at ease with saying “No” so that each “Yes” you agree to is more fulfilling. It is hard to look a good opportunity in the eye and turn it down, but in these moments, try to imagine the plate analogy. I’ve implemented limiting what I put on my plate this year, and in a short amount of time it has done wonders for me.

I hope you’ll try it out.

xoxo, @michaelavelarde

#entrepreneurship #whatsonyourplate #enoughisenough #howtosayno #improveyouryeses #manifestationmindset #decisionmaking #businesslife #entrepreneurship #managingexpectations #personalgrowth #businessgrowth #smallbusinessowner #womeninbusiness

What sets your brand apart is how you rise above the obstacles

You always hear these little pieces of advice from your grandparents. The one I like the most is, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” The phrase wasn’t always my favorite to hear, but now this snippet rings in my ear like a bad hearing aide against a telephone receiver; forcing me to listen.

We often don’t realize the gravity of those kinds of statements until we actually live and breathe them. Some of us choose to learn these things the hard way rather than taking the advice given at face value. The advice we all need to hear now is that most opportunities truly are too good to be true, and everyone has their own set of obstacles that get in the way.

The truth is, there will always be obstacles, but what sets you apart is how you rise above those obstacles.

If you want to succeed in business, you need to remember that it isn’t about getting everything you want handed to you on a silver platter. It’s about earning it. And many of those who run a successful business have no other choice than to build it up from nothing. Some of our nation’s best entrepreneurs were immigrants who came to America with absolutely nothing except an unyielding determination to build themselves a new life.

What is your driving force? What are you determined to accomplish? What are your goals?

As I said before, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is! There are so many doors in the hallway of life, but it’s impossible to expect that we might answer to every opportunity that knocks. It’s important to find the door to the place we wish to be, and walk through it. How will you lead those who follow? How will you reflect that mindset to your audience? Personally, I hope to step outside of myself to explore and create.

I hope to inspire others to do the same, to live intentionally by leaving your mark.

The thing I’m truly focused on in my life right now is being intentional. I’m focused on creating great things and sharing my process with others. I have found my doorway and I’m walking through it. Is there anything in your life that pulls you to it? If so, what is it? What are some small goals you can create today to open the door to find it?

xoxo, @michaelavelarde

#goalgetter #ethicalentrepreneur #bootstrappingbohemian #businessmindset #abundance #hardwork #toogoodtobetrue #uphillbattle #risingabove #bossbabes

Did you know the silent steps you take in business vibrate with the highest frequency?

I remember a time before I became a business owner. I was an employee. I had an average level of happiness and free time. I was blindly confident and optimistic. I’m not saying that any of those traits have vanished from my personality; but around them, I’ve built a more solid and realistic foundation. Being a business owner encompasses so many roles and responsibilities that a non-business owner can’t even begin to fathom.

Before, I used to loudly boast my accomplishments. Now, I silently run my own business from home.

What I am saying right now may sound counter-intuitive to the content of this blog, but I can’t confess to having these feelings when writing about this journey. Sleepless nights working on the small details that go into building a successful brand. The behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody thinks about. Developing new ideas and finding creative solutions to big problems. Doing several jobs simultaneously.

I’ve come to learn that the silent steps you take towards your goals vibrate with the highest frequency.

The closest thing I can relate it to is being a parent. The small stuff you do that nobody sees. The dishes you wash, the laundry you fold, the toys you pick up. You don’t think about all the little things that go into a specific job, you just do them every day. The only time anyone notices the value of the work you’ve been doing is when you stop doing it.

The purpose of doing these things isn’t for recognition. It isn’t so that you can go on strike and say ‘look how much I do for you.’ It’s an organic thing. You clean up your house because it creates a more peaceful atmosphere. You pick up after your dog while out on a walk because it’s the responsible thing to do. You take out the trash because it’s just something that has to be done. Running a business is the same way.

Those silent steps you take are what can transform a mediocre business into a great one.

Part of what I do as a content creator are those little steps. Things that may seem easy or insignificant to others. Stuff like planning social media posts, creating visual content, and making necessary changes based on customer feedback. And with each little step, I see improvements being made.

So the question today is how do you add value to those little steps? What is each step’s worth?

How do you quantify something that is part of your everyday? It’s difficult to say the least. The best way to determine value in today’s world is through monetary gains. But what other value do those little steps hold in your life? Think back to the pet owner picking up after their dog, what value does that action hold? The best answer I’ve found is that it is proactive. It shows initiative.

If each step you take in business is towards being proactive, it will eliminate the need to be reactive.

If you think through the next ten steps, it can help you get where you’re going quicker, easier, and with less bumps along the way. My intention for today is to continue taking the silent steps to the place I hope to be. I’m focused on moving forward. I plan the steps ahead out so that I can avoid the road blocks. But there will always be times that each of us stumble. The goal is to get back up and keep moving on.

With every step you take, you’re growing stronger and stronger each day and moving towards your goals.

What are some silent steps you can start taking today in your life or business to reach that higher frequency?

xoxo, @michaelavelarde

#entrepreneurblog #womeninbusiness #smallsteps #growingstronger #moneymoves #goalgetter #ceomovement #businessmindset #ladyboss #growthmindset #workforit #hustleharder

How operating under a manifestation mindset changed my career

You often hear people talk about manifesting something, but what does it mean? In life and in terms of business, it’s shifting your focus from what you have to what you’d like to become. Take a good hard look at yourself and your work. What needs to change? As we walk into a new year, it’s important to reevaluate and recognize what is working and what is no longer serving us.

It’s a great time to renegotiate contracts, reevaluate business priorities, and realign with your soul’s true purpose.

That purpose for me is creating intentional brands. A business that gives back to the planet we live on and is an asset to the society we live in is far more memorable to its customers than one that does not. Look, I get it. Competition can seem overwhelming at times! Whether you’re an entrepreneur or in a workplace setting looking for a promotion or contemplating negotiating a raise. Can you find something that sets what you offer apart from what others are offering?

Are you punctual; a good listening ear? What is it that you do best?

For me, the intrinsic value of any given business venture comes first and foremost from how it serves others. Both for myself and my clients, because fulfillment on both sides truly matters. If you’re unfulfilled with your work, you aren’t operating at your highest frequency. If your customers are left unfulfilled with your offerings, they won’t return. On a good day, what leaves you feeling fulfilled? Write it down and remember it, because it will be important later.

For me, the thing that gives me the most fulfillment in my work is when I’m helping others. As a small business owner, I saw a lot of creative skills that I had to offer other business owners to help them bring their brand to the next level. I quickly learned how to operate my business with a manifestation mindset. The phrase “I wish” has always been on the tip of my tongue. “I wish there was a place like this,” or “I wish there was a service like that.”

I began creating the things I wished existed.

And I haven’t stopped since! It has been hard work, but doing what you are passionate about and operating under a manifestation mindset that what you put out into the world will come back to you truly changes how fulfilling your work can be. It may not feel like it in the present moment, or right now, but you have to remember that you’re working towards what you were always meant to be.

All you’re really doing is making things happen.

xoxo, @michaelavelarde

#manifestationmindset #ethicalentrepreneurs #consciouscreative #fulfillment #findyourwhy #whatdrivesyou #motivation #buildingbusinesses

A behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of content creation

Hey there! My name is Michaela.

I’m a content creator based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. I excel at building brands utilizing my skills in the creative arts– photography, design, and writing to name a few.

I’m here to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of running my own business as a content creator!

As an arts and design professional specializing in business development and brand identity, I excel in creating and implementing creative marketing strategies. I help professionals purposefully connect with their online audience by producing engaging content. My goal is to transform each business I work with into a purpose-driven, sustainable brand.

I strive to be an enlightened entrepreneur, starting and growing brands with an emphasis in giving back as well as supporting our local economy. I have successfully built multiple businesses from the ground up.

How do I explain myself? I’m a story-teller, wayfarer, artist, and shutterbug.

I’m also a wife to my handsome husband and fellow artist, Rheo, and mom to two adorable girls, Estella and Audrey. My biggest goal as a wife, mother, business owner, –whatever– is to first and foremost bring something to the table which improves the world. Whatever I am doing, I follow my why. 

For me, creating a positive impact is my why.

I have realized that I have the power to create really great things! And the truth is, that same power is inside of each of us. I hope that by reading my blog, my words inspire you to find your own why and recognize your own power to accomplish your goals. With hard work and determination, you can do anything you set your mind to. I know this for a fact.

You are a walking, breathing catalyst for change!

I hope you’ll join me on this journey!

xoxo, @michaelavelarde

#enlightenedentrepreneur #womeninbusiness #femaleceomovement #mompreneur #contentcreator #artist #professionalartist #graphicdesign #photography #writing #utahcreatives #utahsmallbusiness