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How To Balance Life With Entrepreneurship & Find Your Soul Purpose

How To Balance Life With Entrepreneurship & Find Your Soul Purpose

No matter what we see on social media, no one has a perfect life. We all want to believe that everyone else is living their #bestlife while we are stuck, wallowing in our misery.

You know what they say: life is what we make it.

Lately, I’ve been dabbling in manifestation, the law of attraction and ancient spirituality as a sort of eat, pray, love life-change. Throughout this journey, I’ve found that we really do have the power to change our lives.

Ahh, the age-old cliche.

If you have gone through hard times recently, you might be rolling your eyes at this point and screaming,

“Screw you, Erin! You don’t know what I’ve been through!”

Well, you’re right. I don’t know your personal story, but I do know mine.

My Story:

As with any human being or living creature on this earth, I have experienced trauma and loss.

I have watched family members develop cancer and friends and family become addicted to cocaine, heroin, and methamfetamine.

I have lived as a low-income family and I have many friends that are struggling to make ends meet.

As a child (and even as an adult) I’ve searched through my kitchen with my stomach rumbling, wondering how I’m going to make it through the week without any food. I’ve survived abusive relationships and situations where I could have easily died.

We all personally know someone that has suffered from insomnia, mental illness, anxiety, health problems, or any other combination of life’s obstacles.

The Cold Hard Truth:

There is no guarantee that life is going to be good to us.

But we do have one guarantee — and that is in ourselves. We really do have the power to turn any situation into a good one, and it all starts within your mind.

As “woo” as that sounds, just hear me out.

You know those nights when you’re screaming into the pillow so hard that your throat closes up, or you’re crying so hard that your eyes are swollen shut?

Whenever I am in those low, low points in life, I have always found positivity by taking time to grieve and wallow, and then by making HUGE goals. I mean goals that seem totally far-fetched but are super inspiring.

As a kid, my goal was to be an archaeologist just like Indiana Jones or a paleontologist like Allen Grant. As I got older, my next dream was to be an animator for Disney. I started applying for colleges and jobs that I was TOTALLY not qualified for, and eventually enrolled in a university that I couldn’t afford, but I made it work somehow.

I lived the “poor college kid” lifestyle for many, many years.

Once I realized that working for Disney was off the table (for the time being, who knows what the future holds), I made a goal to launch the next Bell Media.

I don’t even really know what that means, but I even went around telling people that I was going to have this big, media corporation. I switched my focus in university from anthropology to graphic design, and now I’m a straight-up, full-time founder and CEO.

TL;DR:

My point is — I always made a goal that excited me to my very core, even if I knew it might not have been totally achievable at the time. But by making these gigantic dreams for ourselves, it pushes us to do better.

You’d be surprised what can happen when you push yourself to be your best.

How To Find What You Love (AKA Your Soul Purpose):

It’s also important to find activities that you really love doing.

If you have no idea what you love doing, think back to your best memories as a kid. What did they include?

Were you running around with a fake gun made from a paper towel roll, hiding behind doorways and pretending to be a CIA spy? (Oh, I forgot to mention that I also wanted to be a spy).

Maybe your happiest memories include fishing down at the local stream or watching Star Wars. Maybe your fondest memory is eating pizza and playing cards with the grown-ups. Maybe it’s camping, or exploring, or reading, or flying a kite.

All of these things can tell you something about who you are and who you were born to be. These are hints about your soul purpose.

Take your fondest memories, and ask yourself what about those situations made you happy?

Example: When I would pretend to be a spy, I was really satisfying an interest that I had in being someone important with secret information. I wanted to be irreplaceable, and I wanted to do something that REALLY mattered.

It does take some soul-searching, but once you figure out why you love doing certain activities, I promise your life will drastically improve.

Crush Your Goals with a Side Hustle:

Giving yourself purpose from week to week can improve your productivity and help you achieve these big goals.

If you have a set goal in mind, you can then create a roadmap on how to get there. Start doing activities each week that will propel you closer to your big goal.

If you want to travel to Italy, start taking a side-hustle opportunity twice a month. Use any of those profits to go right into your Italy fund.

You could also pick up a virtual assistant position if you’re good with organization and writing. You could walk dogs if you’re active. You could drive people around on Uber. You could sell items on Craigslist. You could become a brand ambassador. You could clean houses.

It would only take once or twice a month to be able to save a little bit of income here and there. If you have a child, you could probably find childcare just once a month. If not, then find a side hustle where you don’t need to have childcare.

If your obstacle is that you’re too busy, you’ll need to make time otherwise you will never achieve your dreams. Ditch anything else that isn’t necessary in life and pick it back up when life slows down again.

Once you are able to complete your smaller tasks that will lead up to your big goal, you’ll start to feel a sense of accomplishment.

This feeling of positivity, self-love and accomplishment can help you overcome life’s big obstacles by creating a positive place in your mind.

Side Note: Have you read Amanda Lindhout’s memoir, A House In The Sky?

Amanda talks about creating a place in her mind that she calls the house in the sky. She fabricates a place in her mind where she can escape to while she is being held captive and tortured by Somali pirates (HIGHLY recommend this read).

This is an extreme example, but it backs up my point.

If you can create a sense of positivity and a mindset where you can go to feel comfort, you can achieve happiness.

 

Did you find these tips helpful?

What other tips do you have on balancing life with entrepreneurship? Leave a comment below!

2018 Holiday Gift Guide Featuring Ethical & Sustainable Products

2018 Holiday Gift Guide Featuring Ethical & Sustainable Products

EXCLUSIVE COUPONS AND PROMOTIONS INSIDE

The holiday season is creeping up, and each year it feels as though it comes a little quicker.

As I’m sure you know, Cultura’s mission is to better the world in any way that we can. This is why we have chosen to work exclusively with ethical and visionary businesses.

We know that the holiday season can sometimes weigh heavy on our chests when we are pressured to buy gifts, waste food, or take part in other unsustainable and exploitive activities.

This year, we wanted to do something different, and we want to inspire you to be different, too.

#ShopEthicalInstead

This year, we’ve decided to shop ethically and sustainably whenever we can. We can’t promise that everything we do will be sustainable because we are only human, but we will do our best to spend our pennies with conscientious businesses and brands.

The thing is, we know that shopping ethically isn’t easy.

To help solve this problem, we sourced only the best gifts from a carefully-selected group of vendors that are sustainable, ethical or fair-trade. There are even exclusive coupons and promotions included in the gift guide just for the Cultura community!

We truly believe that we can all make a difference, especially if we act as one united front. This year, let’s all do our part to reduce waste and plastic and use our purchasing power to make this Christmas a little more special for people all around the world.

Download the guide below and hit the share buttons on the left to share it with your friends and family!

Download the guide below and hit the share buttons on the bottom of the screen share it with your friends and family!

Cold & Flu Fighting Smoothie

Cold & Flu Fighting Smoothie

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Flu Season… Yep.

It’s not a super fun part of the holidays but there’s one thing I do (year round, actually) that helps keep the bugs at bay.

Read on to learn how I make sure I’m focusing on carving turkeys (or Tofurky) and sipping eggnog rather than stocking up on tissues and chicken soup!

The Secret:

OK, it’s not a mysterious family secret, passed down from generation to generation, or some magic serum that fends off germs, it’s better: Superfoods.

I drink a green smoothie that is chock-full of nutrients every morning and it has made an incredible difference in my overall health.

Here’s a quick peek at the ingredients I use, but feel free to modify it as you see fit!

  • Spinach – a well known nutritional powerhouse full of Vitamin A, B2, C, K, Magnesium, Manganese, Folate, Iron, Calcium, Potassium and tons of antibiotics.
  • Oranges – Vitamin C bomb!
  • Pineapple – Long revered for its anti-inflammatory properties, this regal fruit also contains potassium, bromalain, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamin, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fibre.
  • Turmeric – Also a popular anti-inflammatory resource, turmeric is also known for it’s antioxidant and anti-cancer properties and is rich in vitamin B6, C, and minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium.
  • Ginger – This root’s active ingredient is gingerol, famous for its ability to reduce the risk of infections. Also anti-inflammatory.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Disease preventing and health promoting, this pepper is full of Vitamins A, B6, and C, and minerals such as iron and potassium, cayenne boosts immunity, attacks free radicals, and contains anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The type that is unfiltered and still has the “mother” intact, specifically. ACV contains proteins, friendly bacteria and enzymes, allowing it to kill infectious bacteria, boost immunity, and increase energy. Sometimes I’ll do a shot of this in the morning with a bit of honey and lemon if I can’t get to a whole smoothie.
  • Lemon – High in Vitamin C, lemons are alkalizing, detoxifying and improves digestion (plus literally a ton of other things).
  • Greek Yogurt – Mainly for its probiotic properties but also for its calcium and protein as well!

COLD & FLU FIGHTING SMOOTHIE:

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 C water or coconut water
  • ½ C orange juice or a whole orange
  • 1 C pineapple
  • ½ t ground turmeric
  • 2t apple cider vinegar
  • 1T greek yogurt
  • ½ of a lemon
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper

Blend it all together and enjoy that supported immune system!

*Always use organic ingredients to ensure that harmful pesticides don’t ruin your hard work!

Notes:

I’ll modify based off of what I have on hand but I try to keep most of these ingredients in the pantry.

Feel free to omit or add as you see fit, any combination of these superfood powerhouses will help beef up your immunity, support your other body organs and functions, and keep you hydrated and debloated (so you can eat that pumpkin pie guilt-free!).

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3 Easy Ways To Improve Your Ethical Business

3 Easy Ways To Improve Your Ethical Business

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Ethical Business

 

Let’s talk about some easy ways you can improve your ethical business practices.

As business owners, we are faced with so many choices on a day to day basis — from what suppliers we use to how we run and operate our businesses.

All of these choices can be incredibly overwhelming when piled on top of all the other tasks. If you have ever found yourself rushing through a business decision because you just don’t have the time, you aren’t alone.

The problem is, if you are an ethical business, the choices you make will fundamentally affect your brand in more way than one.

To help you solve this problem, we have found three easy ways that you run a more ethical and sustainable business that helps the world flourish around you.

Leave a comment and tell us what makes you an ethical business!

01: Stick to Your Values

As a business owner and human in general, you have values.

Your personal values closely reflect your business values most times, and so before you dive into your business you need to establish your values.

One of the best ways to run an ethical business is to not only establish values but stick to them under any circumstances in your business.

You will have ups and downs as a business owner, but it’s most important that you stick to your values no matter the situation or season you go through in your business.

If you don’t stick to these values, you run the risk of damaging your brand reputation and violating your customers’ trust. If your customers see you making decisions that don’t align with your values (and theirs), they will begin to question your integrity.

To avoid this, it’s best to determine your values early-on and stick to them.

02: Give Back to Your Community

Business owners have a ton of things on their plate to begin with so the idea of adding something else may seem a little heart-wrenching.

However, giving back to your community is something that needs to be at the top of your to-do list as an ethical business owner.

The community you give back to could be the immediate physical community that you live in, or it could also be your online community if you are running a business with an online presence.

Not only does this help you to grow your business, but it truly does leave a lasting impact on the community around you.

Tip: choose a cause that is close to your heart but also one that reflects your business and ideal customers. Make sure that the cause is also aligned perfectly with your company values.

03: Make Constructive Criticism Your BFF

Sometimes hearing feedback on your services and products can be a bit tough, and some business owners take it to heart.

But one of the most ethical things that you can do as a business owner is to ask for constructive criticism and implement changes regarding the criticism that you have received.

Sometimes we think we are doing what is best for our company and community, but we may only see things through one lens.

This means that we always have room for improvement, and if we are taking advice from our customers we can build an ethical business that actually cares about the customers.

By caring about the customers, their experience and what they think, you can run an ethical business that grows a great reputation for ethics and sustainability.

Remember that a great brand serves its customers’ deepest pain points — so make sure you actually listen to your customers and always improve.

There you have it!

These are the top three things that you can do to run an ethical business that is sustainable long-term, even though there are so many other things that you can do as well.

This is just a great starting point for a business that is ready to start being more ethical as it operates on a daily basis. If you have any other tips, we would love to hear them — drop them in a comment below.

Leave a comment and tell us what makes you an ethical business!

5 Ways Hiring a Business Coach Will Transform Your Business

5 Ways Hiring a Business Coach Will Transform Your Business

5 Ways a Business Coach Will Transform Your Business

All business owners have one thing in common — we want to be successful.

After years of working as a graphic designer in various cities on Vancouver Island, BC, I was restless and decided to rebrand my freelance side-hustle into something more professional.

So after just a few months of planning, I launched my new brand strategy and design business in July 2018.

Click here to skip to the 5 ways a business coach will help you.

 

Ok, I Launched. Now What?

Shortly after launching my new business, I knew that I needed help finding my dream clients so I started exploring the idea of investing in some professional help to grow my business. I mulled around the idea of working with a marketing consultant before I read about business coaches.

 

Business . . . Coach? What’s That?

Being relatively new to the business world, I didn’t even know what a business coach was. I heard the term used lots but I didn’t actually know how they could help. Honestly, the whole idea of a business coach seemed hoaky and contrived.

But something kept drawing me back to the idea of a business coach. Once I started researching Facebook groups and testimonials, I was very interested in finding the right one for my business.

My Experience With Hiring a Business Coach

When I talked to my business coach (Marjolaine at Yoga With Bow) I was in desperation.

I was broke, exhausted and confused on how to continue in my business in a profitable way. My business was only a few weeks old and although I had years of experience, I could feel the financial pressure.

My maternity leave was almost up. I had to get the income rolling in — and fast.

I scraped together all the money I could afford and embarked on my journey to find the right business coach. When I connected with Marjolaine after a short 20-minute phone call, I knew she was the coach for me.

Comment below and tell me: what has been your best business investment?

 

Tips on Choosing a Business Coach

Marjolaine had a no-nonsense approach that kept me on track during our 20-minute phone call. I tend to go on mini-tangents but Marjolaine would quickly redirect me to the subject at hand. She gave me actionable advice on how to make my branding more clear which I implemented right after our call.

I spoke to other coaches that had more experience but I didn’t receive any value from them during our call. I got to know them and their incredible stories — but I didn’t have that aha moment.

When choosing your coach, I recommend finding someone that can give you actionable steps right away. It’s important that you find value every time you speak with them.

 

I Filled My Calendar Completely

In just 3 months of working together, I’ve gone from having one client to being completely booked for a month in advance.

But that’s not all we worked on. Marjolaine worked with me to discover my inner-confidence, shift my mindset, and fine-tune my sales pitches.

After having such an incredible experience working with a business coach, I find myself sharing my story with everyone I meet.

I believe that every entrepreneur should work with a business coach to progress in a profitable way, but many people (like me) don’t understand how a coach could help them. 

Comment below and tell me: what has been your best business investment?

To help you understand, I have laid out all the ways that Marjolaine has drastically improved my business.

Here are the 5 ways a business coach will transform and up-level your business:

01. Create Business Goals and Find Clarity

We spent time writing down and discovering my greatest goals for the future. Once I knew my long-term goals, we figured out my short-term goals — for example, where I want to be 6 months from the first phone call.

I knew that I wanted to be making enough money to sustain my family and save money for an amazing adventure. My ultimate goal, though, was to buy our dream home with a large property.

02. Discover Your Niche Market and Brand Purpose

Although I am a brand strategist, finding your brand purpose and niche is one of those things that is hard to do for yourself.

I had a plan written out and an idea of what I wanted my business to be, but the truth is it was falling flat.

Marjolaine helped me realize that I want to work with soulful, sustainable and ethical businesses — not just creative entrepreneurs.

It’s so easy for business owners to be afraid to niche down in fear of scaring away potential clients, but honestly, we don’t want to work with everyone. We want to work with our dream clients — with our soul-sisters.

We want to work with the people that light the fire in our hearts.

03. Develop Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is something that I’ve always struggled with.

I was an awkward kid growing up and I never saw my worth until the last few years. I hopped from one bad relationship to another and although I knew I was capable of great things, I didn’t believe that I deserved it.

The last few years have been huge for my growth and self-development. After talking with my business coach for just a few sessions, I was finally able to break free from those chains that held my confidence captive.

I began to see my self-worth and realized that I can achieve any goal that I set my mind to.

Having a knowledgeable professional look into your business from an outside point of view can really help you find clarity. 

Once I allowed myself to feel confident, we began working on sales calls and ways to talk to clients. After just a few weeks of this, I booked 2 clients back to back.

Side note: I’ll admit to you right now . . . sales calls are NOT my thing.

In fact, I still stutter whenever my coach catches me off guard and asks me to pitch myself. I am not a natural seller, but her impromptu exercises have inspired my inner salesperson.

4. Grow Your Brand Awareness

Once we worked on ending my limiting beliefs, building my self-confidence and discovering my brand purpose, we started strategizing ways that I can grow my brand awareness and close sales.

She gave me some great ideas to pursue, and guess what happened?

. . . I signed four new clients this month — which brings me at full capacity.

By hiring a business coach, you will be guided through ways to grow your brand awareness like posting in Facebook groups, networking with your local businesses, and developing promotions that your ideal clients are sure to be interested in.

05. Understand the Next Steps to Take

After you’ve achieved all of your short-term goals, it’s easy to sit back and feel like you can slow down.

Although days off are allowed and SHOULD absolutely happen, we can’t forget to continue moving forward. We don’t want to lose momentum and watch all of the work we’ve done on our confidence come crashing down.

A business coach will keep you accountable and show you how to proceed in your business so you don’t burn out and lose that precious momentum.

Do You Know What Steps To Take Next?

If you are feeling lost in your business and you’re not sure how to grow to the next step, it’s probably time to hire a professional.

Having a business coach is like having a therapist — but better. Instead of working on fixing past trauma, they are guiding you to making the best decisions now and in the future that will positively affect your business.

If you’re work-obsessed like me, those business decisions will give you purpose and make you feel accomplished in your life.

 

What Has Your Best Business Investment Been So Far?

I can proudly say that a business coach has been the best investment in my business so far. I would love to know what your best investment has been.

Drop a comment below and tell me!

What has been your best investment? What did you learn?

BRANDING FOR ETHICAL + VISIONARY BUSINESSES.

email us: hello@culturabrandstudio.com // follow us: @culturabrandstudio

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