Left-Handed Eggs

Today I made me some “left-handed eggs.”

left-handed_eggs

Why left-handed? I’ve been using my left hand to do more tasks and balance out my body, so starting largely in the kitchen. Do you ever try using your non-dominant hand to do tasks? It can give you a new perspective. And anatomy / yoga experts say it’s very good for you, your body as well as your brain. I find twisting the top of my coffee plunger to be the most confusing thing. Initially I couldn’t even lift up the filled tea kettle with my left side when it was heavy but now I can fling that thing. Took a while, maybe almost a year. I always wanted to be left-handed because I thought it was cooler, different. When you use both sides of your body more, it can feel more flowing and more like a dance.

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3 Cutie Pies Lead You to Success

Want Surefire Success?

3stepstosuccess

Reliably brilliant marketing copywriting master, Dan Kennedy, shares this simple and proven path to success with ANYthing, be it offering, business plan, weight loss, etc. Follow-through is where most stumble but others are left in their tracks even before then. We’ve all had missteps. The good news? YOU GET A DO-OVER IN LIFE. What’s your most heartfelt dream for this fall? Apply this cycle to it and watch it soar. Here’s a summary of Mr. Kennedy’s thoughts.

As the first step to new achievement, there’s always awareness of problems and failings, and of opportunities and successes.

– Dan Kennedy, Marketing Copywriting Master

Awareness.

If you become aware of the importance of time, you’ll have a different concept of time, valuing of time, and how you must exercise control over your use and others’ consumption of your time in order to have a reasonable chance of achieving your goals and tapping your full potential. You’ll have new awareness of how your time is used or abused, invested or squandered, organized and controlled or let flow about at random. As the first step to new achievement, there’s always awareness of problems and failings, and of opportunities and successes.

Decision.

All achievement follows deliberate decision, with extremely rare exceptions of accidental achievement, like tripping over an untied shoelace, falling face down on the pavement, and seeing a wrapped stack of lost $100 bills lying against the curb you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Absent that kind of freak accident, achievement can only follow decision. As a result of your thinking of the importance of time, you can develop certain decisions.

Action.

There are three kinds of action: starting things or implementation, follow-through, and completion. When you’ve made a decision, you have to start doing things about it. For some people, this is hard, but for many people in many situations, starting is relatively easy. The person who decides on a new diet may find it easy, even exhilarating to take a huge garbage bag and empty the refrigerator and pantry of all offending foods. It’s follow-through that is usually the hard part. That’s where the tough-minded boss-of-self comes to bear. Relying on sheer willpower is rarely successful. You have to create an environment in which high self-discipline is supported. But self-discipline is required. And rewarded.

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Workarounds to Get Pretty, Functional Letterhead Using Word

LETTERHEAD ART AND CREATING
VIEWABLE .PDFS FROM WORD

When helping out a client this week create lovely documents using letterhead for her class, as I’ve experienced before, Word is incredibly clunky when trying to use it for anything close to real layout or design. But also as understood, there are times when people really want to.

letterhead

Why? Because while InDesign, which I normally use, is a thousand times better for layout, non-designers need to create and send documents regularly, which is part of why Word even exists. I don’t expect clients to learn InDesign. Also, the only thing I actually like about Word is that it has super powerful tools for editing long documents that layout programs do not. Ideally, you use Word to write and edit and layout software like InDesign to produce the final layout. But in real life situations, there simply is not always time or budget to do this. Hence, workarounds.

There is no perfect way to get Word to create nice layouts. That’s the bottom line, which is why ultimately, it works better to print “real” letterhead and then print onto that paper.

Word does not save .pdfs properly, meaning it simply doesn’t display what you’ve created in the .pdf. I’m guessing this is lovely Microsoft not wanting to play nice with Adobe.

However, here are the options, the problems and the best workaround based on experience.

1. BACKGROUND — You can use a “background” full page image to show your letterhead design. It displays fine within Word but doesn’t save when you make it a .pdf. It’s literally blank. So you really can’t use this effectively to print (you could on your own laser printer) or send to people, only within Word itself.

2. WATERMARK — You can use a “watermark.” Same issue — it doesn’t save properly as a .pdf. Looked these all up online and tested a lot.

3. INSERT IMAGE — You can create a full size image and insert it as a picture and then “send to back,” and it DOES show up properly when you save a .pdf. Disadvantages: you have to do this on every page of a document and you have to adjust several settings such as alignment and make sure you’re not bumping the image out of alignment as you work because there’s no way I can find to permanently “lock” it so you can just type away.

4. HEADER / FOOTER — You can create two separate images and insert them as a “header” and “footer.” This requires more work adjusting the sizing and you still have the margin issues mentioned below.

MARGIN ISSUES

Unlike design software, Word sticks margins into your layout that you can’t work around and that keep you from working with a background image that goes past the text area’s margins. This is a basic, fundamental problem with using Word to do anything except type text. Word behaves inconsistenly too and no matter how precisely you insert the image with all the same settings page to page, it does not align it exactly the same way on each page; it’s just not layout software.

CAN’T PRINT BLEEDS

You also cannot print “bleeds” in Word, which is where artwork goes past the page. It’s related to margin issues.

BEST WORKAROUND

The best workaround to get a nice .pdf is #3 — it works; you just have to copy the image to every page and bummer, you have to re-format it for every page — a drag and not realistic for a very long document.

BOTTOM LINE

I’ve gone through this before when creating letterhead for clients who want to use Word regularly. Word simply is not a layout program. But at least you can get what you need eventually. In the long run, it will save time and money to print letterhead. You’ll see as you need to create longer documents. For single pages and quickie needs, though, this works.

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Time to “Embody Your Sexy Geek”

Embody Your Sexy Geek, my monthly column in British business magazine Hat Trick is out. Here’s June’s column. See the interesting full magazine here.

Embody Your Sexy Geek
Quick Techie Tips to Let Your Sexy Geek Shine

by Katie Geddes

Are You Being Heard?

How to plug into great sound online

articlephotowhite

Sound Affects (Not Effects)

Sound affects us on a deep, feeling level. Clean, pure sound makes us feel welcome. It’s a beautiful thing. Use it to your advantage.

The quality of your sound can affect your bottom line in real ways. It’s just as important as the image you present of your business. The good news is that it’s never been easier to sound good. Here’s a little guidance I hope may “resonate” with you (warning: puns are easy with this topic).

Sound Matters

How you sound matters. As entrepreneurs grow increasingly sophisticated in their abilities and demands, the desire for great online sound presents itself. Whether you’re creating podcasts, having fun sharing recorded voice messages and music with friends, delivering webinars or recording videos and in-depth presentations, how you sound is an important aspect of your message and it creates a strong impression.

Built-in Mic vs. External Mics
USB & XLR — Huh?

xlrYour computer, Mac or PC, usually comes equipped with a built-in mic. If you have a desktop system, it’s possible that you don’t have a built-in mic, in which case you need to get one if you want to use things like Skype (allowing you to connect worldwide) as well as recording and exporting sound.

To demystify some of the language, USB, with which you’re likely familiar, is the name for one standard connector used with many external devices for your computer. XLR is the traditional input connection on a microphone that looks like three little dots.

Musicians will be familiar with XLR mics, while most business people won’t. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care. You can get excellent quality mics that offer both connections. What’s great about this combo is that you can then use your mic for either computer recording or a gig, whether a speaking engagement or becoming the rock star you always knew you had inside of you. Can you say karaoke, anyone?

Options

First, you need to decide what fits your needs. Will you ever want or need to take your mic away from your computer, for instance, for speaking engagements? In that case, you’ll want a USB / XLR combo mic.

If you’ll only ever be recording voice, that doesn’t mean you want to scrimp on sound quality. Voice matters as much as music sound quality and I want to help you GAIN — (pun intended: gain in a live PA (public address) system means signal strength) — every advantage possible for your business. Think how much time and attention people put into their music setups. Your business’ vocal quality deserves at least some of that consideration.

Following is a list of top runners in the external computer mic department that I found when comparing current options, speaking to fellow entrepreneurs and consulting audio sound professionals.

What People are Liking

Blue Microphones is the clear frontrunner manufacturer for high-quality USB pro sound level mics at affordable prices, while there are other good options. Great picks include the following.

Blue Microphones Spark – Price Estimate: $199

sparksNote that this model comes in two variations; the orange one doesn’t come with a desk mount and isn’t iPad/iPhone compatible (also has sound differences) whereas the newer blue one does and is.

Hailed as Blue’s first serious, studio-quality microphone that also attaches to the iPad and iPhone, this latest Spark mic garners much praise from audiophiles.

“This is the best bang for your buck USB microphone on the market today. I recommend this to everyone for talking or singing. It’s great for both.”

John Ferretti, Guitar Center Audio Dept.

Blue Microphones Yeti & Yeti Pro –
Price Estimates: $129 & 249

yetiThe Yeti comes in two varieties and price points. The pro offers stereo XLR outputs.

“If you live in a noisy household, a condenser mic (like the Yeti and Spark) may NOT be the way to go. These babies will pick up everything, including the hum of the refrigerator. But if “up close” sound is what you need, you will likely fall head over heels for the Yeti USB or the Spark.”

Chel Hamilton, Entrepreneur

Rode Podcaster – Price Estimate: $229

rodeRode has created the Podcaster in answer to the onslaught of computer recording. Well-received for voice recordings, this mic is not intended for recording singing or music like many of Blue’s offerings and is therefore less versatile but not less expensive.

“Very easy to set up and excellent sound quality. I got the shock mount to cut down on noise and that was a good move. I didn’t pick up on the background noise until I heard the difference between my laptop mic and the Rode.”

Suzanne Gray, Art Consultant

Blue Snowball – Price Estimate: $69

snowball

 

 

 

Works with the iPad. Widely reviewed as fantastic at this price point.

Blue Microphones Blue Bird – Price Estimate: $299

birdSimilar to the Spark but a gorgeous USB / XLR combo option.

There are many more expensive options if you want to go even more studio quality with your computer setup.

Mounting Details

You’ll need a mount of some kind for your mic, whether standing or a swing arm. Based on your working space layout, how you speak comfortably and your budget, be sure to consider this when choosing your mic. You’re definitely not going to want to hand hold your mic for optimal sound and comfort.

My Choice: The Blue Spark

bluemicsMy choice that will make you sound like the pro you are is the Blue Spark. I chose not to get the Blue Bird USB/XLR combo because I already own great XLR mics so didn’t need the flexibility. The sound quality is excellent. Setup is simple. It looks great.

For those familiar with voice recording, a “pop screen” attachment is available for all Blue mics but I haven’t found it necessary, which is nice. I’m very pleased with the sound quality of this mic.

Up your game and sound fantastic.

Setup Tips

It’s worth noting that 90% of the time, setup issues are “operator error.” I learned after an hour on the phone with Guitar Center that I needed to reboot for my system to have it recognize my new mic. When in doubt: unplug and reboot. You’ll be good to go.

Be sure to check the “input” and “output” settings on your system preferences and choose your new mic. Same within each and any recording software you’re using. Webinar software stumped me until I clicked refresh and it recognized my mic. Click options and you’ll get it right. Test your system before any important recording dates.

What About You?

Now’s your chance to really be heard. Let me know your experiences with online mics. I love hearing you sound great. Write me at: sexygeek@embodyart.org.

Lovin Bytes,

katie-signature

 

 

Katie Geddes can be found geeking it up at Embodyart.org, where she’ll show you how to profit from your passion. Katie designs thriving businesses for spiritual entrepreneurs. E-mail Katie at sexygeek@embodyart.org to say hi, ask a question, sing a song or apply for a FREE discovery session that’s worth a friggin’ fortune.

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Are you a spiritual entrepreneur?

Do you consider yourself a spiritual entrepreneur? Or does the phrase intrigue you?

Tonight I am honored to have been featured on Blog Talk Radio as a Spiritual Business Designer guest expert for promotion surrounding Kathleen O’Keefe-Kavanos’ book “Surviving Cancerland.” Below are my thoughts from our discussion for you who may be interested in bringing your own greatness into your dream business and wanting to operate from a place of spiritual integrity.

Note: beautiful “Patriot” radio designed by my grandfather. Cool, huh?

listen

1. What’s a spiritual entrepreneur?

You’re heart-centered. You’re authentic. You care about others. You believe that you’re here on this earth for a reason and that reason is not totally selfish or self-focused. You have FAITH. You believe in the unseen world. And like all successful business people, you have a drive to share something with the world and you enjoy figuring things out. 

2. What are some of the most common pitfalls of trying to create a successful spiritually-centered business?

  • Lack of marketing focus on your message, clarifying your message.
  • A clear plan of action.
  • Trying to serve too many people, incredibly common.
  • Self-doubt — you have to believe in yourself or how can you expect others to.

3. So how can you increase the belief that you can make money doing what you love?

Community and systems will serve you well. I can show you amazing examples of spiritual entrepreneurs. This is a time like never before for you to build a customized business perfectly suited to you. And you can take baby steps. It’s true that you have to have certain things in place or your overall effect won’t be what it could be but there are some simple, jumpstart things you can do that will bring you encouraging results fast. And then you can build from there.

4. Is social media a good venue for spiritual entrepreneurs?

OMG, yes. I’m a FB marketing expert and it’s amazing the opportunities that are on there. There are countless special interest groups and entrepreneurs itching to connect with and support like-minded souls. I get almost all my new clients directly or indirectly through Facebook.

Plus, social media reaches internatioally so there are no regional barriers and this is a huge point for spiritual entrepreneurs with unique messages. The global nature is exhilirating and means you stand a much easier, better chance to find your ideal clients faster.

5. Do you need a big budget to start the business of your dreams?

Absolutely not. I love this saying:

  • Start where you are.
  • Use what you have.
  • Make what you want.

I heard this years ago actually on the radio. :) And I’ve heard variations on it since. I know this to be great advice. It can keep you grounded when you wish you had a big business budget or exposure and you’re not there yet. That expression, “it takes money to make money” is not unfounded but the most important thing you have is your passion. Whatever you’re passionate about can set the world on fire. And that’s way bigger than any budget you could ever have.

6. So what’s your fabulous opt-in for our audience, Katie?

I have the perfect opt-in for all of you who want to either start or increase your amazing business. It’s called “Manifestation Gamechanger” and it goes over easy and very real ways for you to manifest your heart’s desire. It absolutely works because it’s taken from real-life people and examples I know who have used these simple techniques to manifest what they wanted and specifically money because as a business designer, I’m all about helping people bring in good money. And there’s plenty for all of us, by the way. 

7. Anything else you’d like to share with our audience?

Yes, I’d like to encourage everyone to listen to their own hearts, to know that they are uniquely valuable and that the world really wants what you’re about. And if you have that entrepreneurial streak, you can make a beautiful, thriving business that’s authentically and uniquely you and you can make a fortune sharing it with the world. And if you feel so inclined, I’m here to help you do that. I love helping you share your amazingness. 

So you know a little more about me and what I can do for you, my business is called Embodyart and I’ve been in business for 13 years. I design thriving spiritual businesses. My background is as an expert designer and writer and after running my own design business for years, I started to figure out the bigger picture elements of what makes businesses successful. I realized I love working with entrepreneurs because I love helping people live richer lives and it’s a thrill to see you gain freedom.

What I offer that’s different from other business consultants is hands-on top-level design and writing skills, which are key to your success, especially in social media and what I offer that’s different from other design or communication resources is big picture business focus that never loses sight of the fact that you are in business to be successful, not just to look good or hang in a museum. With me, you get a business and art as allies approach, part of why I can help creative, spiritual people so well.

It’s also important to note that my approach is very playful. I believe in the power of play.

Make a FREE appointment with me, valued at $222, by going to EmbodyNow.org and we can talk about your exact situation and questions.

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Holiday Schmoliday

How to balance your life

Do you celebrate Memorial Day weekend or other major holidays? Maybe it marks the beginning of summer kicking in for you while you don’t pay much attention to the pomp and circumstance. Maybe it does touch you for personal reasons. Or maybe you’re grateful for a long weekend with a day off from work. Or, as an entrepreneur, you work on through and are happy to have a day where the phone won’t ring a lot.

yourwholeness

Working on Through

As a business geek who gets crazy excited by the latest scheduling tool and similar things, I totally get — and celebrate — your passion for work. But here’s the thing.

Yin & Yang Need Each Other

Life consists of yin and yang, the balance of energies. Yin and yang are not opposing forces. This is key. They are two sides that together create a whole and neither is as strong or effective without the other.

It’s a beautiful thing.

It’s the harmony of life.

You deserve to allow yourself this in your working life too. And not just because I wish you well but because it’s going to make your work much more rewarding and of better quality and you will be able to focus better, probably the #1 most needed element for achieving your goals.

Breaks

My brilliant father always told me to take frequent 15-minute breaks while working. The effective and likeable time management system, Pomodoro, is based on the simple principle of working 25-minute segments with 5-minute breaks and seeing how many of these chunks or “pomodoros” (Italian for tomato — yum) any given task requires.

To Your Wholeness

Sending you relaxing holy wholeness this gorgeous Memorial Day weekend. The sun is shining. And so are you (even if you didn’t realize it until you read this).

Submitted with Love,

katie-signature

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Happy Interdependence

interdependence

How will you celebrate our interdependence?

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Dream It Real

cavecrave

This is The Grotta Palazzese in Italy, a high caliber restaurant set in a cave that looks out over the sea.
I’m going. Wanna go?

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Does your CEO like water?

furrywaterspirit

All hail the brave furry water spirits. Watch some masters here:

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How do you know when you’re:

spoton

Spot on image courtesy of our friend, the wonderful Cat & Crow Children’s Book.

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Did You Know Pigs Can Fly?

pigsfly

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