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122: The Art of Business, Part 1

See the show notes for this Episode here.

This transcript has been automatically generated.

Bonnie Christine [00:00:00]:
Today, we're kicking off a 3 part podcast episode series all about the art of business. Now the art of business is a presentation, a keynote presentation that I was able to present on recently. And what I've done is broken this keynote down into 3 sections that we'll be diving into together over our next three episodes. I'm Bonnie Christine and this is where all things creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town tucked right inside the Smoky Mountains running a multi 7 figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. But when I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up.

Bonnie Christine [00:01:15]:
I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want, and is wildly profitable. Welcome to the Professional Creative Podcast. So the way that this presentation was really born was by some deep reflection over the last 12, 13 years of my career, and all of the different phases or versions of myself that I went through and grew through, and what the takeaways were, what was the art of business at every stage. So at every stage, I'll be sharing with you the choices, the mindsets, the philosophies, and the art of business that got me through that phase or stage and to the next one. So we've broken it up into 3 sections, really early, mid, and recent versions of myself. And I think it's fun to think about how this is going to continue and where the next version of ourself is going to be as well. Now my hope for you is that while you listen to this series, you not only identify with where you are, what phase of yourself are you currently, what choices do you need to make, what mindsets do you need to adopt or grow, what philosophies do you need to think about, And what is the art of business for you at this stage as well? The other thing that I want you to really take away from this episode is that we all start from 0. We all start from phase 1 Immersion 1.0 of ourselves.

Bonnie Christine [00:03:06]:
And then everything grows and goes from that point. So I hope that you enjoy this 3 part series. Let's dive Stu today's.

Bonnie Christine [00:03:17]:
My session this morning is called the art of business. I wanna talk about what is the art of business, why did we, decide to host our entire event around the art of business, And, really, what is success? We talk about success a lot, and I think we talk about data a lot too, like numbers and money. And, honestly, that's because that's one of the easiest ways. Something that's measurable is one of the easiest ways to, measure success, but it's not always the best way to measure success. So what success is not, I don't think to any of us in this room, is how many followers we have, how much money we make, or how well known we are. But if we're not careful, it's easy to feel like this. Well, I'll be successful when I have 50,000 followers. I'll be successful when I hit 6 figures.

Bonnie Christine [00:04:18]:
Right? But I think that way more important than that is how we live, how we serve the people in our lives, the impact that we're able to make, joy that we feel because I know that every one of us in this room probably know or are at least aware of someone who has a 1000000 followers and 1,000,000 of dollars in the bank, and they have no joy. So we have to take ownership over what success is for us, and not let anybody else define what that is for us instead. Now I think today, we're gonna talk about success in the art of business from the perspective of the the choices that we make, the habits that we establish, the mindset shifts that we take in order to get to where we wanna go, the strategies involved, and the philosophies along the way as well. That is really the art of business. So I want to remind you, I did this yesterday. Right? So I wanna take you back for us. We all start at 0. Have you ever, like, fell in love with someone on Instagram? Like, they just have it all together.

Bonnie Christine [00:05:41]:
It's gorgeous. They're showing up the way that you wish you could show up. And then the next time you think this, all I want you to do is just start to scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll until it gets real ugly. And keep scrolling, and then you'll see, like, those original Instagram filters. You know what I'm talking about? What was that favorite one that we all used? It was called something. Scroll until you see that Instagram filter, and then you'll see the progression. I think we're often always seeing people's final finished beautiful curated thing and thinking that it was always that way, and it wasn't.

Bonnie Christine [00:06:20]:
We all start at 0. 0 audience, 0 money, 0 credentials, and 0 help. So what I'm gonna do today is take you through some different versions of myself, And what I really want you to do is find yourself in these versions that I share with you. Okay? So there are 7. I don't know how many they're gonna be in my whole life, probably a1000. There are 7 versions of myself so far, and the art of business has looked very different for me at every version of myself. And so I Bonnie invite you to think about what version of yourself are you at in today, and what of the things that I'm gonna be sharing with you are popping up for you. Bonnie 1.0, this is the dreamer.

Bonnie Christine [00:07:11]:
This is the person who has nothing. Has no credentials, no skill set, no audience, no foot in the door, and literally no money. And I have this huge big dream to become a fabric designer. The year was 2,009 to 2,011, and I was making, like, 0 to 15 k. Okay? So, the way that I started to make money in this time was ads on my blog. I was a blogger, and I started selling little sidebar ads in the right hand side of my blog. You remember them from way back then. And, I was generating just a little bit of money, and then I was selling in my Etsy shop.

Bonnie Christine [00:08:02]:
So I was selling handmade aprons and tea towels in my Etsy shop. I was sewing nonstop, and I was also getting really, really exhausted. But this is what I was doing during these years. So, you know, my freedom figure, which is what we yesterday, was, like, 7 to $9, but I shared with you yesterday that I was really putting in, like, 60 hours a week, so we could go ahead and cut that. It was probably, like, 4 or $5, which meant that I had 0 zero team, 0 people helping me. Right? So I wanna talk about, from this perspective, some choices that I made at this time, Stu some mindset shifts that I had at this time, and some philosophies that I believed in at this time. The choice for me, huge, was to quit my job or keep it. Now I was working for my mom at her fabric store.

Bonnie Christine [00:08:57]:
I had graduated college, came back to my hometown, married my high school sweetheart, and started working for my mom. And it was awesome. Who wouldn't wanna work for your mom at a quilt Stu. Right? But I had gotten just enough, taste for wanting that freedom of schedule and just enough success in my Etsy store that I thought, I think we can make it. I think we can make it if I quit my job. But it would probably be maybe the safer bet to just keep it. I quit it. I'm sorry, mom.

Bonnie Christine [00:09:31]:
And then my mindset was to start doing one thing a day. So I had this big dream. You've heard me say this plenty of times before, but I had this big dream, and I let the gravity of it completely overwhelm Amy, so much so that I didn't know how to take even the first step. And so I let 6 months go by just in complete overwhelm. But I was telling people that this was my my dream until one day I woke up, and I got really mad. I, like, it hit me for the first time how much time had passed. And I thought, well, this is not Bonnie get me anywhere. I'm never gonna be it if I don't know how to even start.

Bonnie Christine [00:10:16]:
And I thought, well, you could just do one thing today that just, like, incrementally moved you closer. Right? And so I just started. And that day, I started by googling how to become a fabric designer, and that was just enough to start my momentum. I had to say it and just begin taking action for things to begin to unfold, and I obsessed over this. I did one thing every single day for 18 months, and that is when I signed my first licensing contract. I still use this. When I have something that feels overwhelmed, I think, okay. Well, what am I gonna do just today? 15 minutes, an hour, whatever it is.

Bonnie Christine [00:10:56]:
Now the philosophy that really sunk in for us at this stage was giving back. This, was difficult. This didn't come and so it was really tight. But we believe in being generous, and so we decided to start saving and giving. So we saved I'll never forget this. We saved $200 a week, and we gave 10% of everything. The only way that we did that was by giving it when it came in.

Bonnie Christine [00:11:36]:
Because if you give it at

Bonnie Christine [00:11:37]:
the end, it's never gonna be there. So we saved and we gave at the beginning of every time we got Bonnie, and we did this by automatic withdrawal. So automatic withdrawal slurped the $200 out every week before we ever saw it, which is the only way to save money. And then the 10% was always it was a standard automatic withdrawal as well. Because this is what I know. Oftentimes, we think that I'll give when I make this amount of money. But my friends, it gets harder, not easier. And so I know that if you won't give a dollar off of 10, you won't give 10,000 off of a 100,000.

Bonnie Christine [00:12:20]:
And this giving back is such an important part of what we do and why we do it. It's how we make the impact. I don't just say we can make impact. We have to make the impact, and part of that is being really generous. And this has set the tone for everything that we've done ever from the very beginning, and it makes it easier because you don't have ownership over your money. You're letting money flow through you. Right? Like, you're a good steward of it to do good work, and that's really impactful. So the art of business at this point in my life was sacrifice.

Bonnie Christine [00:12:57]:
It was difficult. We had a lot of nothing. And so this is when I had a heart to heart with David, and I said, I wanna do this so bad. He had some things that he wanted to do so bad. We decided he wanted to be a cycling coach. He was a professional cyclist for many, many years, and we said we decided to do what we love over the security of a paycheck. Let's go. And so that meant we had to do some things.

Bonnie Christine [00:13:25]:
So we ended up selling a car, so we reduced our pay you know, we reduced some of our monthly payments, and I drove him around everywhere because he had, like, a a office Kajabi, and I was at home. And we just made it work. We sacrificed, and I think sometimes we forget that sacrifice is really a part of the dream coming true process. It's a part of, like, really making progress on our dreams is, well, it's gonna be hard. There's gonna be sacrifice involved. It may mean not having as much time. Right? It means maybe losing sleep or working on the weekend if you have a side hustle, like, it takes sacrifice. I love this quote from Craig Groeschel, successful people do consistently what average people do occasionally.

Bonnie Christine [00:14:10]:
And I know that you're not average. You're driven, you're successful, and that means that you're consistently taking action. So Bonnie Stu, here she is. I'm gonna call this version of myself the doer. I'm entering the doer phase. So the year was 2012 to 2013. I was making about 20,000 to $30,000 a year, so I was actually approaching matching my husband's income for the first time. Now the way that I was making this money was a little bit of the same as before, but also licensing contracts.

Bonnie Christine [00:14:49]:
So I had, let's say, about 5 licensing contracts at this time. And then I had also launched a membership. So my membership today is called, Flourish. It's the same membership that I started back in 2,012, but it does look it does look very different today. And then I was still running ads. So all of those three things, my membership was $5 a month back then. It was really just a paid newsletter. There was there's no, like, login.

Bonnie Christine [00:15:17]:
It's very simple. But it was $1,000 a month. It gave us $1,000 a month, and it was the it was the first time that I ever experienced consistent recurring income in my life. So this means my freedom figure was about 9 to $15, and I wasn't aware of this. But when I go back and do the math, that's where I would have been. Again, no help. So the choice that I had to make at this stage in my life was whether or not I needed I could invest in what I needed or if I needed to just kind of continue piecemealing it altogether. And, like, we're great.

Bonnie Christine [00:15:57]:
We're craftsmen at piecemealing things together. We're crafty. Our creativity means that we can learn things by going to every corner of the Internet, splicing together every cord, every, system on the Internet to work for us. But at some point, it means that we're being less productive than we really should be. Right? And so I had some things that I needed to invest in. I needed a new computer. I needed, like, a a drawing tablet. I needed a course at the time.

Bonnie Christine [00:16:29]:
It was hard. We didn't have, like, extra money at this time. We were very much living paycheck to paycheck. And so I had to decide, do I do I figure it out or do I not? And I decided to figure it out and invest in what I needed. Now the mindset was really settled into my bones that if someone is out there in the world doing what I wanna do, why can't I? Why can't I? Because we can. I mean, we could really do anything. I think I don't know. I'd have to do the math here.

Bonnie Christine [00:17:04]:
Like, I think I'm still young enough to where, like, if I wanted to go to the moon, I could go through all the training and do that. Like, there's nothing in the world that you cannot learn how to do. It's gonna be hard. It's gonna take sacrifice. You might have to go back to school, but if somebody's doing what you wanna do, why can't you? Now the philosophy that I had to really wrap my arms around was getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Now this is not a fun one. Okay? But here I am standing in my comfort zone, and I decide to just take, like, one step out. And then I hang out there until my comfort zone grows.

Bonnie Christine [00:17:43]:
I didn't even realize it. I just hung out over here until all of a sudden doing that uncomfortable Right? You have to do it. You have to continually put yourself more and more uncomfortable. I do this still to this day, you all. This is not comfortable. Have you seen what this room looks like that I'm standing in? It's intimidating. It's uncomfortable, and I continue to just be up for getting uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable to tell you about the coaching program yesterday.

Bonnie Christine [00:18:23]:
That's not a comfortable thing, but I know what's on the other side of us taking action together. So I have to get uncomfortable. It's my calling to be willing to be uncomfortable. And it is yours as well. You have to continue and continue and continue. There was a time not that long ago that my first Facebook live, I almost died. I would have rather crawled under the table and died. And I did it anyways.

Bonnie Christine [00:18:52]:
And then I continued to do that, nothing more. I just continued to do that until all of a sudden I was like, you know, I'm not nervous about this anymore. So time to get uncomfortable again. Right? So you are. As an entrepreneur, you're signing up for always being just a little bit uncomfortable. There's no leaping. You don't have to, like, leap into it. You just have to be willing to take baby steps towards it.

Bonnie Christine [00:19:19]:
Okay? Now for me, the art of business at this stage in my life was discovering revenue streams that had no ceiling. Now there's a big long story behind this, and I'll give you the quick version. I part of what I did at this stage in my life was I drove SAG for my husband, support and gear. And so my husband was a cycling coach, which meant that he had some really high end clients that would hire him to coach them. So we had this one particular family who made such an incredible impact on me. They were the they lived in Aspen. They were the wealthiest family that I had ever witnessed in my entire life. And they were also so humble, so kind, so family oriented, so just different than I thought it would look to make the amount of money that they were making.

Bonnie Christine [00:20:15]:
And so my husband was his coach, and they would go, they would go and my husband would take him on 100 mile rides. And so I got to drive this man's car, which was a Range Rover. Okay? I got to drive a Range Rover. It was I don't even like cars, but this car, it was like it became one with me when I sat in it. This was before I had children, and me and my husband were making, again, like, $30,000 a year combined. And so we were just like, we have made it. What is what is this life? So I would drive for 5 or 6 hours behind them. I would have extra wheels, extra pairs of clothes, and stuff in the car.

Bonnie Christine [00:20:59]:
And so oftentimes, we had a long drive to get to the place where they started, and then I would have a lot of time in the car because typically you would drive up and then pull over and wait for them, and drive up and pull over and wait for them. So I would pick his brain. And I told him about what I was doing, and he was like, well, that's all very impressive. I had this big blog readership. I had, like, I don't know, 8,000 daily readers, all the stuff. And he's like, that's really incredible. Like, you're doing something. How how much money are you making? And I told him, and he's like, that's not really impressive.

Bonnie Christine [00:21:31]:
And I was like, I know. And he said, okay. So if you could just take a small percentage of the people who are in your audience and invite them into something deeper with you, that would mean recurring revenue, then you could really it's it's more passive. Right? It's not trading time for money anymore. And that was the first time that I understood the difference between trading time for money and doing something that didn't have a ceiling to it. So art licensing is a great example. Right? You do your artwork once, you send it to be licensed, and technically, it could make 1,000,000. Right? So this idea of generating income that wasn't restrained to a one for one trade off, either time or, like, apron for $20.

Bonnie Christine [00:22:16]:
Right? It blew my mind, and I I picked his brain. We probably visited with them half a dozen times, and I just would pick his brain, and that is where I learned how to launch the membership for the first time, and it changed my life. And that's one reason why I'm so incredibly passionate about this type of multiple streams of revenue for you today because it's the only way to get out of that time for money if I leave my business crumbles.

Bonnie Christine [00:22:44]:
I hope you enjoyed this session of the versions of myself and again, the choices, the mindsets, the philosophies, and the art of business that is in every stage. And I hope that it also helps you think about what are those things for you. My friends, create the beauty that you want to see come alive in the world. And remember, there's room for you.

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I'm Bonnie Christine.


Thanks for joining me in this journey. I can't wait to help you to craft a career you love!

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