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Episode 19: Ten Seconds of Courage

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I left that show with my very first fabric licensing contract with my dream company, art Gallery Fabrics, and I would have never done that had I not had 10 seconds of courage to walk into the booth.

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 Smokey Mountains, running a multi seven figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. 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. 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. Courage means the ability to do something that frightens one, and I believe that it takes some serious courage to follow a creative dream and have an idea and really go after it, or at least it did for me. I felt like I was truly bounding into the unknown, and I know that that's true for so many creative entrepreneurs. It's scary. We have so many unanswered questions like, what if I'm not successful?

What if I'm not talented enough? What if I can't learn what I need to learn or how much money will I make? Will I be able to make it? How do I even get started? I finally realized that I really just needed some courage in order to get started. Many, many years ago, I heard my pastor, his name is Craig Rochelle, say that for so many things in life, all we need is 10 seconds of courage. And then the momentum begins to happen. And so I have taken this to heart and I use it all the time to calm my nerves and get momentum going into the direction of something that honestly is scary because the truth is becoming successful means putting yourself out there and doing some pretty scary things over and over and over again.

I am just naturally the nervous type. I don't really enjoy public speaking. I don't like approaching strangers. I don't like making cold calls. Honestly, my husband knows that I don't even like to call and take out. I just don't even want to pick up the phone and talk to someone. But all of these things have been really essential in getting my business to thrive and to get it to where it is today.

I've had to show my work to important people, which is so scary. I've had to give presentations. I've had to speak in front of huge crowds. I've had to make cold calls and introduce myself to strangers more times than I like to even think about. And do you know what got me through each and every time remembering that it only takes 10 seconds of courage, then I'll have started what I need to say or what I need to do, and my nerves will have quieted down. It's really just that initial burst of energy that it takes and then things begin to roll. I feel so passionate about this because I've used this so many times to get things started in my career over the years because the truth is we have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

This side of practicing 10 seconds of courage over and over again is 100% worth the risk. In fact, I wanna share five ways that using this method of just 10 seconds of courage has helped me gain huge strides in my career. The first way is by cold calling companies. So the first time that I finished a portfolio, I knew that I was ready to share it with the world.

I wanted to share it with everyone, and I knew that in order to do so, I really needed to stand out from the crowd. So I handmade a beautiful portfolio. I had my website ready to go, and I knew that I could email art directors, but I knew that there's something unique about hearing someone's voice. I mean, am I right?

As you're listening to this podcast right now, there's a deeper connection that happens when you're able to listen to someone and even a greater connection when you're able to see them face to face. But for this purpose, I knew that I couldn't do that, so I wanted to call the companies, ask for the art director and introduce myself, and I was so nervous.

I would find the phone number and I would sit with my phone in my hand and just be so nervous to pick up the phone and call. I was so nervous in fact that I had to write down a script, which was so silly. It was like my name. Hi, my name is Bonnie Christine. I'm an artist I would love to speak to, to your art director and see if you would be interested in licensing my work or working together. You know, it's like something that I could have never forgotten, but just having it on paper helped me so much calm my nerves. And so I would just get up. I would walk in a circle around my room and I would say 10 seconds of courage and dial the number and it would ring and my belly would feel all nervous.

But as soon as someone started speaking, the conversation began to flow. And almost every time I did this, I would get the feedback from the art director that it was so nice to speak to someone because almost everyone just emails or you know, sends something in the mail. And so for me to have had the courage to call and connect over the phone was admits so much to them.

And so I always have taken that lesson with me. Number two is by showing my portfolio. And so no matter what you create, there's this moment that you'll show it to someone or you'll, you'll reveal it or share it with the world and it's vulnerable because you're really asking for feedback, you're opening yourself up for feedback. And this is how I felt the first time I was really showing my portfolio.

Now my story is somewhat unique because I found myself at International Quilt Market being able to approach art directors in person with my portfolio in hand. I had several appointments, but there were a few that I couldn't get ahold of before the show, and so I had to just walk into the booth and do the same thing I did on the phone, but this time it was in person.

Is your art director here? I would love to meet them. I mean, one time I did this and they were like, yeah, it's me. I'm like, oh, can we, you know, sit down. I'm an artist. I would love for you to see my work. And that was so nerve-wracking. 10 seconds of courage to just walk into the booth and introduce myself and sit down.

This episode is sponsored by my all new free mini class called Start Simple. In Surface Design, you will never forget the moment you feel your first pattern design in your very own hands. From concept to design to finish product. The process is nothing short of magical surface. Pattern design is the craft of creating artwork for things like fabric, gift wrap, wallpaper, and so much more. It has brought me so much joy over the last decade, and I want you to experience the same thing because getting started with a new skill can feel a little overwhelming. I've broken down everything you need to know in order to get started as simply as possible in just five lessons that are under 20 minutes each. You're going to learn how to design your own repeating pattern, ready for fabric, gift wrap, or wallpaper. You'll create a repeating pattern. You'll use Simple Techniques in Adobe Illustrator and you'll know how to order your very own product today. Now, don't worry, even if you've never used this program, I'll teach you everything you need to know to get up and running. I'll even show you how to use found objects like leaves or strings.

So you don't even have to draw if you don't want to. I'll teach you how to create a custom color palette, design your very own pattern and export your file like a pro. If you have an hour to learn a brand new skill all for free, then let's get started. Head on over to bonnie christine.com/start Simple to sign up today. Again, that's bonnie christine.com/start simple. It's b O n N I e C H R I S T I N e.com/start. Simple. I'll meet you there. I cannot wait to see what you make in class.

The payoff was incredible. I left that show with my very first fabric licensing contract with my dream company, art Gallery Fabrics, and I would have never done that had I not had 10 seconds of courage to walk into the booth.

The third way that this has really been monumental for me was that I decided to reach out to one of my biggest mentors in 2019. His name is Stu McLaren, and I had just finished a course that I had taken from him called the Membership Experience, and I had learned so much and felt like I had this story that I would love for him to know.

And so I decided to write him a direct message on Instagram and I typed it all out. I wanted him to know how meaningful the course had been for me and the results that I had gotten from implementing so much that I had learned from him, and also what that had meant on the people in my membership. And I was so nervous to send this.

I wanted to be, you know, so respectful of his time and his energy, but I wanted to connect so much as well. And so I mustered up my 10 seconds of courage and I hit sin. And this unfolded into such an incredible friendship and ultimately an invitation to come join his mastermind called Impact, which I've been in since 2019, which has been one of just the most monumental, you know, things in my career. And it all started with the courage to send a simple direct message. Okay, number four is I got an email from another one of my mentors. His name is Jeff Walker. I read his book called Launch and I implemented it. It's a similar story but a little bit different. And I had had great success with what I had learned from him, and one day I got an email in my inbox that invited anyone who wanted to to share their story with them. And so I was nervous to do so, but I sat down, I wrote my story and I submitted it. And this led to so many, so many things. Initially, it led to an interview with Jeff Walker that got published on how I had implemented what I learned from his book called Launch and the Subsequent Success from that.

But that also led into me attending one of his conferences in Arizona. And then we just recently met again. He came and spoke to my mastermind last month and just a relationship that has been incredible. And it all started with my 10 seconds of courage and working through those nerves to just submit my story to them when I was called or invited to do so.

Okay, number five is fresh. It's very recent and it's one of the most nerve-wracking things that I've ever done. I got invited to join a couple of these people that I've been sharing with you about for a event to raise money for Stu McLaren's charity called Village Impact. And so in December of last year, I was invited to join some of the most incredible entrepreneurs to join them live in Arizona.

Again, to do what we call a predictions call and share about our predictions for the upcoming year. But the main takeaway here was that if you registered, all of the proceeds went to their charity called Village Impact. But I was so nervous to do this. It was broadcasted live. We broadcasted it out of Dean Graziosi's studio, which is amazing. And I was alongside some of who I consider my biggest mentors, Amy Porterfield, Jeff Walker, Brooke Castillo, Jenna Kutcher, so many incredible people. And obviously Stu were there. And I got to be in the same room with them and spend the day with them. And I was nervous. I was really nervous. I was so nervous to walk in and you know, be confident, but also, you know, so incredibly humbled to be there.

And so I kind of collected myself right outside the door. I took a deep, big breath and I said 10 seconds of courage. And I walked into the room and I introduced myself to Amy Porterfield and Brooke Castillo. We all got a cup of coffee together and sat down and just started chatting away. And I had been so nervous about it, and it has even since, just led to some beautiful relationships and an opening up. And my point is that it would have been so much easier to not have done any of these things. It's so comfortable to stay comfortable, right? It would've been so much easier to just not do any of these things that required so much courage. But every time it has been 100% worth it, even when it leads to maybe receiving feedback, that's hard to hear. It has been so worth it because it's so important to learn these things. So my question for you is, what about you? What do you need to do right now that requires 10 seconds of courage? And the next time that you're feeling nervous about reaching out to someone or introducing yourself or making that phone call, or submitting your work or sharing your story? Can you just remember, take a deep breath and say it only takes 10 seconds of courage and then it will will either be over if you have to sit, hit, send on something, it'll be over in 10 seconds, or it will have at least begun and it will be flowing and you will have initiated the momentum that will lead you into the next heights.

You have to have courage in order to follow your biggest dreams. And I know that it's hard, but I want to encourage you to keep it up. In the very next episode, I'm gonna be sharing with you something that has taken me a lot of courage over a lot of years to grow. And that is to grow, to love going live, going live on Instagram or doing a live workshop or doing live q and As, or I used to do a bunch of Facebook lives. They were always really nerve wracking for me. And so over the years, it has just taken me a ton of courage to get comfortable with it, but I've also learned some things that have helped me get better and better and make this feel easier and easier to the point that today I don't really get nervous to go live.

And so I thought I would share them all with you later this week, some hacks that I've implemented that help me get comfortable going live and some tricks and tips for while you're on live in order to feel more comfortable. So that's coming up next. Thank you for listening to another episode of the Professional Creative Podcast. You can get show notes for this episode and all other episodes over at professionalcreative.com.

Remember, always work to create the beauty you want to see Come alive in the world. And remember, there's room for you. I'll see you next time.

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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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