January 12, 2016

Things I want to learn in 2016

Filed under: Creativity — lidia @ 5:54 pm


Every year, I make a list of things I want to learn rather than New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve managed to check off a few things on last year’s list (make an awesome green smoothie) though some still remain elusive (will I ever master my DSLR camera?)

Things I want to learn in 2016

  1. Video and YouTube marketing
  2. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising
  3. How to play guitar again (it’s been awhile)
  4. A digital illustration style that I can use for my children’s book ideas
  5. A more efficient bookkeeping system
What do you want to learn in 2016?

December 31, 2012

Things I want to learn in 2013

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , — lidia @ 11:07 am
2013 greeting card by Laura Berger

2013 greeting card by my friend Laura Berger. Buy in her etsy shop! 

So, at the beginning of every year I make a list of things I want to learn. Apparently, I skipped 2012’s list—but I was already busy learning how to be a new mom! (see 2011’s list here).

Things I want to learn in 2013

  • How to create an eBook in Adobe InDesign
  • How to use Google Analytics effectively (admittedly, this has been on my list for several years!)
  • How to narrow down all of my personal creative projects
  • QuickBooks
  • Recipes for my slow cooker
  • Fitting in exercise into my biz mama schedule
  • A fun DIY holiday gift for friends
  • Sewing

What do you want to learn in 2013?


January 6, 2017

10-Minute Marketing: Make a list of things to learn

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — lidia @ 10:00 am

10-Minute Marketing: Make a list of things to learn

Instead of making New Year resolutions every year, I make a list of things I want to learn. I find it to be less intimidating and more practical than making resolutions. My list usually involves both personal and work-related purusits (as they often cross over) and sometimes (OK, always) I carry over things from past years

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Make a list of things to learn this year.

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.


January 1, 2015

What I want to learn in 2015

Filed under: Creativity — lidia @ 10:00 am

15 from typography in the city

Here it is, my annual list of things I want to learn in the new year. Yes, I admit there are a few stragglers from last year’s list (when, oh when, will I finally learn how to properly use my camera?!)

Things I want to learn in 2015

  • Digital publishing: apps, eBooks
  • Making the most of my DSLR camera
  • Using Google Analytics effectively
  • An illustration technique for my children’s book ideas
  • How to make a “best-of” video from my library of clips
  • Video marketing
  • An awesome green smoothie recipe

Happy New Year!


December 30, 2013

What I want to learn in 2014

Filed under: Small Business — lidia @ 10:25 am
Laura Berger 2014 calendar

My friend Laura Berger’s awesome 2014 calendar. Click to order in her Etsy shop.

I’m continuing in my tradition of listing things I want to learn in the new year instead of resolutions. Admittedly, there are a few holdovers from years past, but I’m all the more determined to check them off!

Things I want to learn in 2013

  • Digital publishing: apps, eBooks, etc.
  • Making the most of my DSLR camera
  • Using Google Analytics effectively
  • Advanced screenprinting techniques
  • Streamlining my paperwork and bookkeeping
  • Crowdfunding
  • Facebook marketing and advertising
  • Baking (how to be better at it!)

Here’s wishes for a happy, prosperous and enlightening New Year!

September 6, 2012

All I really need to know in small business, I learned from my baby. [@foundingmom guest post] #bizmama

Filed under: Biz Mama,Small Business — Tags: — lidia @ 2:49 pm

A few more things my son taught me: Take frequent art breaks. Always make time for fun.

Being a small business owner for almost 12 years, I’ve been accustomed to running my graphic design studio in a very organized, methodical way. When my baby boy arrived, things quickly changed in my home and business life.

Now, a year later, I realize the many things he taught me that can also be applied to running a small business successfully.

Lose your preconceived notions.  

When I first had my son, I wanted to be a babywearing mama. After multiple attempts (and baby carriers), I realized: This boy doesn’t like being in a baby carrier.

In business, the same rule applies. We sometimes approach our businesses with preconceived notions, only to be disappointed when they aren’t working. It’s okay to change your focus, client base or marketing strategy if it isn’t getting the results you want. In fact, it’s a good thing.

Read the rest of my post on the Founding Moms blog.

December 27, 2010

What do you want to learn in 2011?

Filed under: Time Management — lidia @ 9:06 am

Print by Laura Berger on etsy

At the start of 2010, instead of making a list of goals as I usually do, I made a list of things I want to learn (both business and personal).

After doing an end-of-year review of this year’s list, I’m pleased to see that I accomplished some items (learned how to increase traffic to my website, new ways to market my design biz) however I’m still working on others (how to really use Google Analytics, re-learning how to play guitar).

So, here’s this year’s list:

Things I want to learn in 2011

  • Best techniques for promoting my online greeting card shop
  • Creating a mobile app
  • Making the most of Google Analytics
  • Keeping my email inbox tidy
  • Effectively using my marketing calendar
  • Creating eBooks and forms in Adobe InDesign
  • Baking bread
  • Tricks for growing hibiscus

What do you want to learn in 2011?

January 4, 2014

What’s your word for 2014?

Filed under: Creativity,Small Business — lidia @ 8:45 am


I don’t usually make New Year resolutions, making instead a list of things I want to learn (see this year’s list here). But this year, I also decided to choose a word for the year: FOCUS.

Choosing a word for the year can be powerful. It can help guide your decisions and keep you on track, both personally and professionally. I chose focus because I want to focus on working on specific areas of my businesses—as well as being fully present in time spent with my son. I also want to narrow down my list of creative side projects (and believe me, there are a lot!)

Alternatively, some people choose a phrase or theme for the year, like “Think big.” Get your family or friends involved too. For example, I chose a word for my toddler: learn (though since he is 2 years old, maybe it should have been “patience”!)

See Gretchen Rubin’s tips for choosing a word for the year here.

What’s your word (or phrase) for the year?


January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Filed under: Small Business,Time Management — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 4:44 am

Here we are in the first week of 2010. A new year. 365 new days to achieve your goals. Sounds daunting, yes? I have always started off the new year by writing a list of goals. However, this year I’m taking a new approach. Instead of making a list of what I must do, I’ve decided to make a list of what I want to learn.

For example, here are a few things I want to learn in 2010:

  • Ways to increase traffic to my (and my clients’) website
  • New ways to market my design business
  • How to actually use Google Analytics
  • How to best integrate my contacts/calendar with my new Droid phone
  • Flamenco
  • Guitar (or should I say, relearn what I have forgotten)

So… what do you want to learn in 2010?

September 2, 2014

Featured biz mama: Kristin Graham of LivLo Designs

Filed under: Biz Mama — lidia @ 10:00 am

Featured biz mama: Kristin Graham of LivLo Designs

Kristin Graham always wanted to be an entrepreneur and take a product line she was passionate about to market. So, after having her two daughters Olivia (Liv) and Lauren (Lo) she decided it was time to change the direction of her life and chase her entrepreneurial dreams. She started her entrepreneurial journey in her early forties by taking one step at a time. Her work experience had primarily been in the field of education, but she considers herself to be a creative person who has always loved fun prints—so why not create her own.

She also wanted LivLo Designs to make a difference in the lives of women and/or children so a portion of the sale of each of their products is donated to a charitable ‘sisterhood’. Their slogan is ‘Spreading the Strength of Sisterhood—one sister at a time with every bag sold’.

Kristin Graham of LivLo Designs

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

My current business responsibilities are to grow my e-commerce business, work social media, write blog posts, market LivLo’s products and just basically try to let people know that my company exists.  This takes a lot of work, but it is interesting to find out the different ways that Biz Mama’s can promote their businesses from the comfort of their own homes.  I also am very particular about customer service and starting a conversation with my customers and those who have joined the ‘LivLo Sisterhood’.  Building relationships is extremely important to me…..my happy customers are my best promoters.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

My daughter Olivia is 6 and a half (can’t forget the half!) and my daughter Lauren is 5.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started LivLo Designs after I had my children.  My daughters inspired me and gave me the courage and the strength to just do it.  I also wanted to show them that having dreams is important and following them nothing to snicker at. Dreamers are cool.  🙂

Describe a typical workday.

My typical work day begins as I drink my first coffee in bed and check emails and social media posts.  Then I am an incredibly fortunate woman who is able to walk her children to school.  As soon as I get my children off, my day is composed of 5 hours of busyness.  I may be at the post office doing some shipping, I may be writing a blog, or perhaps working with my graphic designer to discuss a new print idea.  I try to tackle the jobs I am least interested in first thing in the morning so I can feel good about myself for the rest of the working day.  If I have some situations that I am trying to figure out, I will sometimes sneak in a run or a bit of gardening to give the answers time to come.  At 3:30 I pick up my daughters and we do the ‘after school’ thing which could be lessons of some kind or play dates….you name it.  I normally spend some time online at the end of the day as well…..after the girls have gone to bed.  This is also when I will write out my list of things I want to accomplish for the next day.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

One tip I can share with other Biz Mamas is to keep moving forward—one day at a time.  I also keep a book filled with the things I have learned and my accomplishments since starting LivLo.  I find this book saves me on days when I wonder what in the heck I was thinking…..because let’s face it, we all have days where this is the case.

LivLo Designs

Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
Twitter: twitter.com/livlodesigns
Facebook: facebook.com/livlodesigns
Pinterest: pinterest.com/livlodesigns
Instagram: instagram.com/livlodesigns

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