9 good things from a life-changing quarter of a year

The past 3 months have felt like 30 years! A lot has happened and shifted, for all of us, in incredibly significant ways.

The past quarter has undoubtedly been tough for most – in many different ways – and, for some, much much more than others.

If you know me, you’ll know that it’s in my nature to always look for the silver linings. Despite all the grief we’ve witnessed and experienced, I see these past few months as having been a time of clarification like never before. 

We’ve had to confront where we’ve collectively fallen short as a global society. And we’ve had to look at where we, as individuals, need to grow. 

In this post, I’m sharing 9 things that contributed to my personal and professional growth and wellbeing, in the past quarter. My hope is that you may find something useful or inspiring here too.

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Growing your audience made easy

I know growing your audience is something a lot of creative businesses struggle with. As a creative who’s fascinated with marketing, I’ve done lots of experimenting, over the past 10 years, with growing an audience for my own business.

One simple strategy has brought me results, time and time again. In the beginning, I wasn’t really aware it was a strategy! Since then, I’ve honed it and would love to share it with you.

First things first…

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31 income streams for creatives

With all the changes our world is going through, many more people are now appreciating the value of having multiple income streams. 

I know I am. COVID-19 rendered 3 of my income streams non-viable because they all relied on people coming together physically – Afri-love Fest, Afri-love Connection Club and my graphic recording services

Luckily for my business, I had a few others that weren’t dependent on human interactions in real life and recently launched another. It has meant I can continue to support myself and my team.

If you’ve been thinking of pivoting or diversifying your income, there’s no time like the present to take action!

In case you’re feeling stuck, here are plenty of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Continue reading “31 income streams for creatives”

10 biggest takeaways from 10 years of Afri-love

Today, Afri-love is 10 years old. 

What originally began as a blog has come to be so much more. 

I started Afri-love to celebrate African creativity and remind us how much we have to be proud of. I knew I wanted it to one day be more than just a blog but, at the time, I didn’t realise how much it would be a platform for my own self-discovery as an individual, as a creative and as a business owner.

2 weeks ago, I announced Free to Create – my new online membership to help creatives thrive. When I think about it, it’s the perfect culmination of this 10 year journey so far.

I’m reminded of the 10,000 hours theory, popularised by Malcolm Gladwell, contested as it is. I started my creative business, not long after I started this blog. It appears it’s taken me 10,000 hours – 10 years – to experiment, establish and refine my creative voice and align with my purpose.

Part of that purpose is to share everything I learn! In that spirit, I invite you to look back at the journey with me, as I share

The biggest takeaways from the past 10 years.

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Want to monetise your creativity? Do this first

Monetising your creativity is a struggle I understand well! You love to create, you suspect – or even already know – you can serve people with your creativity but, you don’t know how to make it make economic sense.

You dream of making a living from your creativity but, you don’t know where to start

Or perhaps, you’ve already taken the leap. You’re doing creative work and serving people but, the numbers aren’t adding up. You’re making money but it’s not enough to sustain the way you want to live. You’re getting discouraged, you’re working all sorts of crazy hours and perhaps, you’re even losing the love you once had for your craft. 

The mistake I made

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5 things I wish I knew when I started my creative business

This year marks 10 years of running a creative business and it’s been a ride! I have learned SO MUCH, about business and also about myself. 

There have been many amazing moments but, it’s also been tough – especially financially and in terms of not having much time for anything else. This was not the idea – for me, owning a business is an opportunity to build something that can help you achieve time and financial freedom, while serving others.

I’m still on the journey to realising that dream. And I’m still motivated because I’m so much clearer about what I need to do, than I was in the beginning. Back then, I had no clue about the how!

Looking back, there are so many things I could have done differently in these 10 years – that would have brought me better results sooner. I hope that by sharing some of them, I can help you reach your goals faster.  Continue reading “5 things I wish I knew when I started my creative business”

How to establish a creative self-care practice (+ 2 activities)

In this season of COVID-19, I have really embraced intentional creative self-care.

It’s really helped me when I’m feeling down, overwhelmed, or mentally and emotionally exhausted.

What’s great is that, whatever your interests are, you can find a creative outlet that speaks to you. 

I spoke about the wellness benefits of a regular creative practice in a previous post. Today, I’m sharing steps on how to begin your creative self-care practice.

Step-by-step: how to start your creative self-care practice

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Wellness benefits of a regular creative practice

A regular creative practice can do so much good for you, whether or not you’re a professional creative. 

I’ve experienced so many health and wellness benefits, from having a regular creative practice. And it started out as having nothing to do with my professional creative work.

My journey to a regular creative practice

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Cuban colour palettes

Cuba is a place I’d dreamt of visiting, for decades! I finally went to Havana last year (thanks to one of my dearest friends, Vivian) and the creative inspiration did not disappoint!

I was constantly taking pictures of anything and everything – including ceiling fans, textured walls, floor tiles, signage and more!

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Soulful branding through crisis: 5 tips

Soulful branding through crisis is something that’s been on my mind. Today I’m sharing from my own experience and leaving you with 5 tips to consider, for your own personal or business brand.

I think it’s clear to us all that, from this time of COVID-19 onwards, business cannot continue as usual. 

There are all kinds of professional AND personal strains that this time has put on many of us. Financial concerns; worries around our employment and keeping our businesses afloat; added responsibilities with our children at home; and the trauma of losing a way of life that’s all we’ve ever known.

I don’t know about you but, I woke up the other day, exhausted!

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