05 March 2010

A new home!

Project: Joie de Vivre has a new home! :)

Please visit the blog at http://www.projectjoiedevivre.com!

Be sure to update your feed as well, just CLICK HERE to update your subscription!

Merci a tous!

03 March 2010

Getting Clear on Your Purpose

Have you ever had one of those days where you don't know what you're doing or why you're doing it?

Or you feel discouraged about pursuing your dream and you haven't any idea of how you're doing to make it happen?

That was me today.

Some of my appointments were moved around and I felt like I was losing momentum. What started out as a busy week felt like it came to a screeching halt with nothing to do. Well, of course there are things to do, but nothing that made me change out of my pajamas and take on the outside world.

And it's probably because I was cooped up all day. Alone in the house. One of the minuses of working from home, and working alone, there's no one to bounce ideas off of at any given moment. I have to make appointments with my colleagues to hang out. Sometimes, entrepreneurship can be a lonely road.

Oh man, I'm sorry to sound like such a downer today, but it's just one of those days.

So this got me to thinking about my purpose. My purpose behind my business. It's not to make a ton of money. It's not just to take pictures. It's a lot bigger than that. It's a lot heavier than that.

I attended a Business Planning workshop a few weeks ago where we had to write our mission statement. Before the workshop, my only recollection of a mission statement was the one from my high school. For some reason that was the first one I could think of.

And so we went through the mission statement writing process. It's not an overnight process. It's a constant work in progress. But this was a totally intriguing exercise because it really got all of us to think and consider what it is we do, why we do it, and for whom.

I loved hearing some of the mission statements of huge companies such as Starbucks and Disney. Starbucks' is " Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time." Disney's is "To make people happy." I really enjoyed learning how everything in our business should revolve around and reflect our mission statements.

So my mission statement is still a work in progress, but since I'm talking about purpose, I wanted to share it here. To encourage those of you who do read this blog to come up with your own personal mission statement. I don't think you have to have a business to have a mission statement. Your mission statement should reflect you and who you are and why you do what you do. Whatever that may be.

Your joie de vivre may be your mission. Your mission may be your joie de vivre.

So what I came up with to reflect myself as well as my business is "To inspire others to live their passion." I didn't want to keep it narrowed just to photography, but broad enough to span to my other project, including this blog.

Have you thought about your purpose?

Have you ever written a mission statement?

Have you ever just had one of those days?

If you have, I'd love for you to share it in the comments!

Merci a tous,

01 March 2010

Sometimes, You Have to Just Do It

I'm a cautious person when it comes to spending money. I learned to be frugal and thrifty from a young age from my dad. And I'm thankful because it helped me be a vigilant saver and never blow my budget. It's how I socked away cash for retirement (its' never too soon to start!) and it's how I was able to save a nice sum of cash for our wedding.

However, it also makes it harder for me to spend money on myself. Especially the big ticket items. Even if it's for business.

But sometimes you just have to do it.

For the longest time (about a year), I've been wanting and needing a new camera body. But I was able to come up with excuse after excuse.

"We're saving for the wedding."

"I have a camera body that's still good."

"I don't have the money."

I like to think that I'm a natural saver. Pinching pennies and keeping my piggy bank happy. (Okay, I don't actually have a piggy bank, but my bank account thanks me.) And when it comes to spending big money, I start to get agitated and nervous. Running all the reasons why it's a bad idea through my head.

I know, it's a little crazy.

But today, I made it happen. I had to. If I want to further my dreams, I had to invest in myself.

And I'd like to liken this to pursuing any dream or ambition.

How easy is it for you to talk yourself out of something?

Do you find it easy to think of all the reasons why it won't work, why it can't happen, everything that could go wrong, or how it would be impossible?

I know, I do too.

That's fear talking. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the unfamiliar. Fear of possibility.

What steps do you need to take to further your dreams?

Is it calling a contact?
Is it writing a proposal?
Is it meeting with potential investors or clients?
Is it spending a big chunk of change?

Today, when I was about to purchase my new camera body, I started to feel the nerves well up. I wondered what would happen if I just walked out and decided to not buy it. My eyes grew large when I saw the price that I would be owing, but then I thought about what this investment would bring.

Better image quality.
Better output.
Trust with colleagues.
Trust with clients.

Bottom line, this purchase would push my business forward.

So imagine what kind of obstacle is facing you.

What do you need to "just do"?
What are you afraid of?
What would it be like if you "just did it"?

Would you advance in your pursuit of your joie de vivre?

If so, get going!

I know, it's scary. But if you have considered all your options and all your outcomes, and your gut is still telling you to move forward with the "scary" path, it's a sign.

Sometimes, you just have to do it.

Feel the fear. Do it anyway.

Merci a tous,