Your Hostess Has Fallen Down the Rabbit Hole

My pride! My joy! Miseducated, I have missed blogging inspirations and hearing from you. I’d never leave weekdays without posts unless life has taken me for ransom.

It just so happened this weekend that my never-ending morning sickness had finally gotten ahold of me. I was dehydrated and having cramps and contractions — how scared was I!

It’s 2 months early, Colette still has quite awhile to bake in my stomach.

So I was rushed to the hospital and ordered to stay while they pumped me full of fluids and monitored my little stomach dweller.

The bad news is I had to stay.. the good news is all the time spent monitoring Colette paid off because she’s *very* active and healthy for her age! It was music to our ears.

Now, as for the wonderful world of Miseducated..

We have quite the inspirational, diy, career-inspiring AND GIVEAWAY goodies coming to you very soon! I’ve been collecting some of the sweetest handmade items from artists around the world to offer you in our Spring Giveaway.

This is yet another way for Miseducated to support handmade artists. Did you know you can apply to be featured in a future giveaway? Miseducated will purchase your handmade goodies and give our wonderful readers a chance to get ahold of them.

So stay tuned for new ezines and newsletters arriving into your inbox (you can submit your email in the ezine space in the sidebar!), inspiration and of course tons of color and unconventional Miseducated fun.

I speak for all of our contributers when I say, you make everything worth it!

Why So Many Women Are Afraid to Self-Promote

Are you a history buff? No? Me either, but I will never forget Glenn Close in Dangerous liaisons. The scene still stuck in my mind where her life of privilege and power climaxes in ruins- because she dared to what? Manipulate people to suit her purposes, avenge herself (jilted by the man she loved who used her and tossed her aside for a younger version), seek revenge, relish the feeling of power, and revel in her own self centeredness. Gosh, this reminds me of something… what is that… I know-MEN.

Ohhhh, wait a minute, is this male bashing? Some may say so, I believe it is simply one passionate opinion about the pandemic affect of this two thousand year old inequity. What I am trying to say really is that, how come when a woman tries to bend things to suit her needs she’s a thankless whore and when men do it they are…just being men. When women are shrewd in business, arranging people, places and things to most optimally benefit her desired goals they are willful bitches and men, savvy hunters?

Am I saying we women want to adopt such scruples? Hell NO. What I am saying is enough already! And set forth a motion to do away with this reckless thinking and embrace a more lavish approach to achieving, creating and realizing what we all want and need and would like.

We will collectively grow up and subscribe to the more the merrier, there is plenty for everyone and then you wait and see what happens!! Until then lets inquire whether or not we want to continue to subscribe to an antiquated way of promoting our passions, taking care of our selves and achieving our deepest desires; groveling along, manipulating our pretty little way to success, trying to be the good girls and wives that we were taught to be.
So let me offer a few pointers and suggestions, how do I promote myself without feeling shame or frightened of how others will view me or instinctively feeling like I may offend people that I believe I need in order to survive~

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First~ Ask yourself who your source is? Go on really. Who or what is the source of flow, money etc in your life. You may not like your answer but you will see it is the source of your angst. A clue is if you believe source is outside of you, or have simply forgotten- there’s the work to be done!

Second~ There is no other! This means we are all one and whatever you see or experience outside your self is simply a projection of your own material and beliefs. Maddening isn’t it. But when you think about it really its empowering and ultimately freeing! And a stellar opportunity to embrace and heal your own beliefs and story about yourself and the world around you! Like men have power women don’t, self promotion is shameful etc. cause if you see it or believe then its true (for you).

Third ~ And last for now , have some fun and stretch yourself. Try celebrating yourself out loud and test some of those theories. Will people really think you’re a shameless self promoter? And if they do, so what? Once a woman told me something I will never forget; “She said to me’ Honey child, half the people you meet aint gonna like you no matter what you do, the other half will. You might as well get over it! So, as Don Miguel Ruiz says, don’t take it personal! Or you stand in it and feel the burn and heal whatever insecurity keeps making you feel this way! I am a big self inquiry fan and find that when I face the daemons they go away. The shadow isn’t so scary when we shed light on what’s really underneath it all!

Design Your Own Career: Part Four

“Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come.”
– Greer Garson

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We’ve identified our passion, worked out the skills we will need to pursue it, and found that we must keep learning in any creative career. Now the tricky bit, the question of the ‘M’ word, the point when we realise just how difficult the creative career is to achieve, and why so many abandon it or never even try: how do we make money? Firstly, there are two vital points to keep in mind when embarking on or living the creative career, if you want it to work financially.

Two Principles for Making Your Passion Pay

Not only do you have to love doing it, you have to have a certain amount of love for the work involved in doing it. For example, I would really like to be a property developer; I’m interested in buildings, interior design and the pleasure that comes from renewing something tired and old. However, I’m not one for physical labour – a bit here and there, sure, but stripping walls, plastering, painting – it just isn’t for me; I’m an ideas person. Therefore, I would either need a great deal of start-up money to outsource this work, or I’d need to partner up with someone who wants the challenge – it’s just logic. Whereas, when it comes to writing, I love the concept, the materials, the result and the work involved – it’s win win.

You have to think about who will pay you, and tailor your work for them. Making money always involves someone else; you don’t make money as an individual unless you have a licence to print it yourself. Now, if you know you won’t get paid as an isolated entity, then you need to quit thinking of your ‘working self’ as an isolated entity – you need to start thinking about your customer: the person who will pay you to do what you love. When you think about them, you bring yourself closer to making money, because you can see things from their point of view, and know why they would or wouldn’t part with their cash on your behalf. For example, if I wrote articles purely for myself, made them all about me and only relevant to my life, it’s pretty unlikely that anyone would ever pay me for them. Whereas, if I wrote them, yes out of a love for the craft, but also with a target audience in mind (publishers as well as readers) then I’ve tailored my work and I invite payment.

What about money now?

This is all well and good, but I’d be lying if I said these principles alone will make you a living from your passion: there are many more sides to the coin. Firstly, it is an elite few who have the resources to start a business from scratch and live off of it, and I’m going to assume you are not one of them. So how do you get a financial head start with a creative career?

Start early. If you want a lucrative, independent career, you must be prepared to walk a long, toll-taking road to success. Because you are not relying on anyone else for that ‘big break’, you have to build up all the things that separate entity would offer you: reputation, credibility, contacts, experience, knowledge etc. The sooner you start, the better.

Do it alongside study. Study, particularly undergraduate study, is probably one of the best times you could start working out a creative career, whilst still feeling grounded. You have plenty of free time, you might have a student loan, and you are surrounded by other creative, young individuals to join forces with.

Do it alongside other work. Many creatives assume an ‘all or nothing’ mentality, refusing conventional work altogether – but you don’t have to be one of them. A part time job can fund your creative endeavours if you want it to, and work doesn’t always have to be a 9-5 desk job. Do something that keeps you fit like being a kids water sports instructor; do something in a creative environment like work at an independent cinema; or even do something that you can do whilst working on your career, like evening babysitting.

Research possible creative grants and/or young person’s business loans. These exist, and they are actually far more plentiful than you might think. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend commercial debt, there are many government-backed schemes to help the entrepreneurs of the future: after all, it is in the interest of any economy that you make money. In terms of grants, if you’ve got the talent, show people – they may be willing to fund your potential success. Type ‘creative grants’ or ‘arts grants’ or whatever is relevant to your dream career, plus the area you live in into Google and see what you find.

…Ask parents or investors? For some of you this will be the obvious choice, for some it will be unthinkable, but we’ll leave that debate for another day. If you think your parents (or other members of your family) will be willing to invest in you, make it worth their while. Like I’ve said, think about the person attached to that fistful of cash and ask yourself ‘what’s in it for them?’ Draw up a business plan and approach them like any other lender, and, of course, pay them back when you are in the position to do so.

Want to know just what you could be doing that’s creative and will earn you a crust?

Here are some examples of possible creative careers: Writer, Blogger, Graphic/Web Designer, Cabinet Maker, Painter, Interior Designer, Fashion Designer, Textile Designer, Property Developer, Musician, Life Coach, Personal Stylist, Photographer, Potter, Illustrator, Chef, Baker, Landscape Gardener, Florist, Window Dresser, Advertising Creative, Copywriter, Thespian, Director, Set Designer, Dancer, Greetings Card Maker, Knitter etc.

You can follow just one of these paths, you could weave several of them together, or you could carve out a new career especially for yourself. There are people in every one of these careers making good money, why not pick your guru and research how they did it? And, more appropriately, how they made it pay. Don’t be disheartened if you’re not abundantly rich in your chosen career immediately, it can take several years to get on your feet – the point is to get there and, if you give up, you never will.

Where to go next

Don’t let this series be a waste of your precious reading minutes; get started on your dream creative career now. However old/young/ prepared/unprepared you might be – there’s something you could be doing to make the mission of earning money one that is fun, fulfilling and freeing.

That’s it for designing your own career.

Please let me know your thoughts on the series and ask any questions/request follow up articles. Remember – you’re my customer and I’m here to tailor my work to your needs 😉 If you want to throw a tip my way, well, that’s up to you!

Sometimes You Just Have to Do What You Want

You should always spend time doing what makes you happy. Last night, I spent a great deal of time doing something I did not want to do, something that made me ultimately unhappy, and when I woke this morning and thought back on the wasted Saturday night, I was reminded of a point that I always try to aspire to: do what you want to do. Of course, there are situations in which we must attend unpleasant events or participate in less-than-thrilling conversations, but there so many times when we end up committing ourselves to do something we don’t want to do, something we could have easily gotten out of. When this happens to me (as it did last night), I feel anger and resentment not only to the other person/people and situation, but to myself. Afterward, I ask myself, Why didn’t I just say no? Why did I waste time doing something that didn’t bring happiness to my life? I often rationalize that I somehow got suckered into it or I couldn’t get out of it, but this time I am choosing to do something different. After waking and feeling resentment about a wasted Saturday night, I am not going ask why the time was wasted or think about what I could have done with my night. Instead, I am going to prepare myself for the future by taking these steps to make sure that, whenever I can, I am spending my time the way I want to.

1

Just say no. When I come across an invitation or a situation I don’t want to participate in for whatever reason (even if no one else could possibly understand my reasoning), I am going to say no. Of course, this means I will still have to go to work and meetings and do some things I really, really hate doing (like pumping gas and walking down the aisles of a grocery store), but there are also a lot of things I can say no to that I usually don’t. I usually rationalize the event in some way, saying to myself, Oh I haven’t seen this person in so long or I don’t have any other plans set in stone yet. Even if I have nothing better to do, I will still strive to avoid spending my time in ways that don’t feel positive to me.

2

Recognize what things don’t interest me — and don’t do them. Ever. We all have things that we know we don’t like to do. For example, I’m not a big fan of sports games. With the right people and in the right situation they can definitely be fun, but I have spent hours and hours of my life on boyfriend-of-the-moment’s couch watching football or basketball. And I have sat there resentfully, thinking to myself, I could be doing something else right now. I really don’t care at all about this stupid game. What am I doing here? That’s just my example though. I’m sure for other people, there are certain situations they know bring out negativity and resentment in them. My advice? Don’t do them. Yes, if you have a friend or significant other that really wants your support, sometimes you might have to do things you really don’t want to do, but you should seriously consider if participating in an event and feeling annoyed about it is really worth it in the long run. Maybe you can work out a deal with the person or maybe you can find someone who has interests more in line with your own. Either way, settling for a situation never brings about positivity in any relationship.

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3

Set aside time to do what you love. Sometimes it’s easy to remember what we love to do, and to find the time to do it. When you experience a situation in which you feel you have wasted time, often the things you would have loved to have been doing jump to the forefront of your mind. For example, last night I thought to myself, I wish I were writing right now. I wish I was finishing up the book I’m so into reading. I wish I could be in bed, turning off the light, about to get a few extra hours of sleep because it’s the weekend. Right there, I thought of three things that I really enjoy doing (yes, sleeping is one of them). That’s one of the few perks about doing something you don’t want to do — you realize all of the things you do want to do. Once you’ve figured out whatever it is really enjoy doing (which, actually, can be very difficult for some people so really take your time with this), you should set aside time to do it. Not general, maybe-this-weekend time, but actually time, such as blocking off an hour or two in your calender. In doing this, you will be more likely to remember and take time to do the things that interest you. In addition, you can easily say, “Oh, i’m sorry! I already have plans!” when an invitation arises that you are really not interested in accepting.

4

Realize that life is short. Cliche as it sounds, life is short. We only have a limited amount of time here in this life and we should make the most of it. We should spend whatever free time we have doing what makes us happy. It’s easy to get sucked into doing what other people want to do or justifying activities and saying that we “have” to do them, but this is unfair not only to us, but to those around us. People will be able to sense that you are not enjoying yourself (or, at least, people can sense when I’m not enjoying myself because I make it very clear). You will be resentful of the people and situations you spend time with and partake in because you felt you “had” to. You will miss out on all of the fun and excitement and joy you could have had doing what you really wanted to be doing. Our lives are short and we should all be living them the way we would like to.

5

Surround yourself with people who support what you want to do. This can be difficult at times, because not everyone wants to do the same thing and it’s pretty near impossible to surround yourself with friends and family members who enjoy the exact same activities that you do. However, you can choose your friends and you can choose friends that enjoy similar activities. You can also choose to surround yourself with people who make not like to do all of the same things you do, but who support the time you want to spend doing those things. Likewise, you can be the kind of person who, though you may not want to participate in a certain activity, fully supports those who do. People who are unsupportive bring negativity into their lives and the lives of those around them, so try to support the preferences of others and most definitely try to surround yourself with people who support you.
Some may read this entry and think, How selfish! We shouldn’t just go around doing what we want to do without thinking about the needs of others! This is true. I am not encouraging complete and utter selfishness, but I am, as always, encouraging positivity. We have this moment, this life, to live however we want to, and I feel like so often we take this for granted. We think that we can get to something later or, in my case, I rationalize things, saying to myself, Oh, I’ll always have time to read. But will I? What I know for sure is that we have this moment, this single moment, to live. No future is guaranteed so whenever possible I believe we should spend time doing whatever makes us happy. Between work and other commitments that we can’t get out of, we actually have very little time to do the things that make us truly happy. Think about what you really love to do — and do it!

Design Your Own Career: Part Three

“To love what you do and feel that it matters–how could anything be more fun?”
– Katharine Graham

In Part One of this series we learned how to target our dream careers and in Part Two we sussed out the skills required to start achieving it. In Part Three we are going to focus on increasing your appetite and ability for learning, and how this translates into a fulfilling career.

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Never Stop Learning

It is a common, often subconscious, belief that learning stops when you remove yourself from a traditional academic environment – be that school, college or university. But, for your dream career, this is absolutely not the case. You should always look at your career as a path, not simply a destination (if you saw the movie ‘Click’ then you’ll know the danger in that!)

However, this doesn’t mean you should constantly be striving ahead, rather than being content where you are – it is actually quite the opposite, it’s knowing that, when you reach a milestone, it is not the be all and end all, but merely a glorious bonus in a tapestry that stretches far beyond and around it.

When we stop learning, or being open to learning, in many ways we stop trying, we stop feeling challenged, we stop being creative and hopeful in our work, and therefore that work becomes dull, wearing, and a slog. Life is a continuous puzzle, and it should always be that way. The moment you feel you have it all sussed is the moment life becomes monotonous.

When thinking about learning within the framework of your dream career, it is necessary to look backwards as well as forwards – what type of learning got you to where you are now? What is the best direction to take the results of that learning?

Got a conventional education? Fantastic.

Just because you did what everyone said was the ‘sensible’ thing and got a qualification, doesn’t mean you aren’t still destined for a creative and unconventional career path. Standard curriculum education may have its faults, but it also has many benefits.

Take a wider look at your education – what has it taught you beyond the course title? Have you gained confidence, people skills, and a power for problem solving? If you start to look, you’ll realise there may be far more to your education than you thought, and you may start to see how those skills can transfer into a more creative, ‘designed’ career.

Not got a conventional education? No problem!

Learning is a personal journey, and it is certainly not found strictly within the confines of a classroom, or out of a traditional textbook. Find a genuine love for learning and you will find there are many avenues for self-education.

The likelihood is that you have built a wealth of real-life experience in place of a conventional education, and this can be just as much, if not more, value to your self-fashioned career than you think.

What Learning Looks Like

Learning comes in different formats. Learning can be alive and interactive and exciting – not just dusty equations on a blackboard. Learning is a frame of mind and, when you start to illustrate and intertwine your dream career into your life, you’ll realise there are lessons to be found all over the place.

Books – Fiction and non-fiction, books are perhaps the most straightforward way of gaining new insights within your field. Aim to read at least a book a month that is relevant to/impacts your career.
Internet – It’s easy to take the internet for granted, but we have more knowledge literally at our fingertips than we have ever had before. Take advantage of that.
Museums – Our culture, our ideas and our businesses are all built on our history, so educating yourself about the world you come from is a great tool for shaping the world you want for yourself.
Art Galleries – It is important to feel we are learning creatively just as much as it is to feel we are ingesting facts and figures. Gaining inspiration or knowledge from any creative medium can really help to inspire various elements of your career.
Film – Not merely a brain-dead way to pass a Saturday evening with a bucket of sweet or salted, cinema is a powerfully animated tool for teaching yourself about various careers, cultures, continents and more.
Music – Music and its history tells a story, it arouses our creative side and it is a thoroughly pleasurable way to learn about the world, so you’ve got no excuse to avoid it!
Travel and Real Life Experiences – These are perhaps the most valuable ways of learning as they remove you from your comfort zone, challenge you, and ultimately teach you about yourself.
People – That’s right, actual conversation and the ability to listen will pay dividends in almost any career. Always strive to learn from the people in your life, new and old; they have first-hand experiences you may never get the chance to live yourself.
Short, evening or residential courses – If you like the group learning environment then there are courses available within almost any niche. If you haven’t got the time or opportunity to physically attend courses, e-courses are becoming more and more popular.
Community Events – Getting involved in community events is the perfect way to tie together all kinds of forms of learning and, hopefully, build your career.

Putting Love into What You Do

So where does love come into all of this? Well, if you truly love your career, then an inherent hunger for improving within it is a given, and this is just another way of learning. Your dream career should feel fluid, organic and always fresh and exciting; that’s when you keep your appetite for it; that’s when you love it; and that is only achieved when you are open to learning.

The next and final part of this series will be all about making your passion pay – how to earn an income from doing what you love – so don’t miss out.