Thinking Overload

Know your strengths and flaws before attending a Conference

Dari_Design_Conference_Latism_Public_Speaking_session_presentation_panel_Dariana_Cruz

Conference season is over for us.  It was an amazing season and I personally learned so much! about the industry and about myself. I met new people and got my motivation levels back to “very high”.

Instead of doing a recap of our last 2 conferences we attended and presented Latism and Blogalicious, I want to tell you about how I had a revelation on how important it is to be very clear about your strengths and flaws before attending a conference.

Help others with your strengths:

Strengths are personality qualities that benefit you and everyone you come in touch with at the conference. They come natural to you. They are part of your character and you never even think about them or doubt them. Consciously and intentionally use them as a gift for other, without expecting nothing in return. Ask yourself. How can I help and give to this space and people during this event? Hopefully that answer will guide you to “what” and subsequently to the “how”. Below are my 3 main strengths and how I feel benefit those around me.

Public Speaking:
I love teaching and sharing what I know. I get beyond excited to have the space to speak about what I love doing. This benefits the audience at the conference because a confident, motivated and uplifting speaker creates an effective environment for learning. I infuse my talks with my honest and genuine ideas and experience and care about what you’ll be taking home from my session.

Selling my business services:
All you have to do is ask me the magic question. -So, what do you do? for my magic to begin. I don’t talk forever, no worries. Yet you’ll know exactly what we do and how we can help you. It’s definitely beneficial to find people like this at a conference, because it breaks the ice for  to also talk about what you do and connect better with whom you are networking. A wonderful collaboration can definitely come from a dialogue that starts here.

Keep a positive attitude:
A good attitude makes the present moment always better. Conferences can be logistically tiring, overwhelming and confusing. Since there are a lot of people in the same track, the collective energy can get heavy at times. I’m a good neutralizer and can even uplift a collective thought at times. Positive thinking benefits all of us enjoying the conference. Having a positive anchor  when it’s challenging to see anything positive about a given situation can be key to keep your mind open, learn more, get to the right people, enjoy your time, be vulnerable and the list goes on and on.

 

Dari_Design_gadgets_phone_conference_hispanicize_Dariana_tips

 

Help yourself overcome your flaws: Flaws are habits in your personality that don’t serve your life, your overall business purpose nor helps or inspires people around you. Set up a clear conference goal. Show up knowing the main 3 flaws in your personality that could be obstacles to reach that goal. And must importantly have an action plan to overcome them using the situations and circumstances in a conference as a practice arena.

Network outside of my comfort zone: God knows this doesn’t come natural to me. Once I’ve dragged and pushed myself to do it the rest is fun. The challenging part is that split second when you have to choose to eat , sit or hang out with a new person instead of the people you already know.

My action plan is to cordially approach (using will power :) new people. My goal is to connect with 2 new people a day during the event. By connect I mean, really connect, listen, ask questions, talk about how we can benefit each other, consciously memorize their name and what they do, and only consider it a connection if at the end of my conversation I feel that sending them an email after the event will come genuinely and natural to me and not awkward and forced.

Stay focused: Well with so many things happening between events and sessions within events of this magnitude, it’s easy to forget what are you there for. Is it to learn? or to make more connections? is it to scout new collaboration projects? Is it to figure out what you will like to present next year? what is it?. Confession: I get super distracted and for a moment I think I’m there to chat my life a away and make new girl friends. Well, I know this is a normal symptom of an isolated entrepreneur, yet my action plan needs to bring me back to focus and reality. There is a lot of energy, time and money we invest in these conferences, being clear about the larger goal helps everyone manifest an ROI.

Our goal is to educate ourselves, learn and implement what we learned in other sessions. Making notes and keeping them clear and handy for a quick review after the conference works great to achieve that goal. Making our presentations better every time is another of our goals. Asking our audience for feedback and going to other sessions to write down what we think works or doesn’t, helps us brainstorm and implement new skills and add-ons into our on presentation.

Gadgets are very important: Somehow this lesson seems to be so hard for me to get. I know it so well in theory but I can’t prioritize it enough in my life. The consequences are bad. My phone is out battery all the time, if I bring an extra battery or charger I leave it in the room. I don’t want to carry with my laptop (which is borrowed), but I always need it. I forget to bring the chrome book (which is borrowed as well). I don’t have a professional camera, so my photos are all coming from my cellphone (when it’s charged) Complete disaster!

However, thank God, my sister is the total opposite so, I rely on her to save me. My action plan? well here it is: To have a new cellphone and new wireless charger with a tablet for the next conference. To always have it with me and never leave it in my room ;-). I’ll cover the camera and other apps after the first step is taken.

These are my strengths and flaws, (some of them I should say) which are your? 

Share below to learn from each other, and prepare better for 2014 conference season!

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

8 things to do when you are feeling overwhelmed

Overwhelmed_reminders_feeling_help_dari_design_studio_Font_Type

Do you feel overwhelmed? I’m sure the answer to that is YES! (at least 80% of you will say yes right away). We are feeling VERY overwhelmed here at DDS. The truth is our work and personal life keeps spinning and I don’t see a break coming in the near future (It is hard to not overbook ourselves with projects we love).

Don’t get me wrong, it’s very exciting to be doing all these projects and to feel the growth of our little company happening right in front of our eyes. This is the good type of busy. I never felt so fulfilled and passionate about all aspects of my life than now.

Yet, when multitasking gets out of control is time for me to go back to basics and not only apply what I already know but  also seek new tips and new suggestions, ideas, knowledge and habits that can make me better and also help me grow along with the circumstances. All for the sake of Balance and creativity!

 

I can testify that my creativity has sparked right after doing any of these 8 suggestions to overcome feeling overwhelmed

 

So here is my humble list of helpful reminders that EFFECTIVELY work in times when the loads of life seem to never end and as a result we feel overwhelmed:

Do a brain cleanse: 

Your brain is an organ that needs to detox periodically. There are tons of methods to do this, but the basic process is to sit down with pen and paper and start writing every single task, idea, project, thought, or chatter that keep pounding and eating your brain up. Once you see them all in paper, take your time to be very honest and realistic with yourself. Prioritize them and scratch some off accordingly.

I love doing this one, it keeps me on my feet and confident of the time and energy I invest in my projects.

Give to others: 

Part of feeling overwhelmed comes from being too self absorbed and too self involved in our own little corner of existence. I consistently make an effort to take the time and space to give to others. There is a famous phrase that goes something like : You can only receive what you give.

Try generously giving some of your time to others, and you will see how some how extra time will be present for you. A simple example could be to call someone to say thank you (for a particular favor they did for you) or just to say hello, bringing breakfast to people you work with, sending a letter, volunteering at your favorite organization.

The best time to find time to do this is when you are very busy! I know, very contradictory, but believe me it works! When you come back to your life you will have a different perspective and a more clear view of your present (busy) time.

Sleep (more):

This one is simple (an one of my biggest challenges) and controversial. Many believe that in order to achieve your goals you have to work hard, and most of the times hard means long hours which translates to lack of sleep. Well I disagree. Is better to work smart than to work hard and health and balance is one thing I prioritize at the very top before business and many other things.

That been said I’m writing this post at exactly 12:18 am and I started my day at 6am today, I took an hour nap and I know I still owe my body more sleep hours. What can I say?, I always have to keep an extra eye on this one, because I naturally gravitate to stay up and busy at nights.

Leave White Spaces:

Does your schedule have a day, a frame of time within a day, or a weekend where it just looks white. By white I mean NOTHING to do just be. And by BE I mean just be spontaneous (do a new thing without planning it or making it a task). A good example: you are sitting in your living room looking at your tablet and it occurs to you that it will be a good idea to download a new audiobook, as you are listening you feel the need of making a lemonade and going to the patio instead, so you do it.

Make this white space in your calendar a lifestyle and welcome BALANCE into your life forever. I confess I have to practice this more consistently! This applies even if you are the president, a mother of 6 or the busiest person on earth. You can still find the time if you set the intention.

Re-visit your Priorities:

When your priorities are clear, is much easier to make decisions. Quick and assertive decisions help you feel less overwhelmed because you can laser cut through obstacles and distractions and get to your prioritize”to do” lists faster and more efficiently. Don’t underestimate this one!

Stick to a Morning Routine:

This is key! creating a calm morning routine helps so immensely. I’m not always able to do this, however, I have felt amazing results when I put it in practice. It doesn’t need to be a long extended routine, if all you have is 15 minutes that will do it. Tell your family about it, so they will learn to respect that time for you. Some ideas of what you can do:  read, meditate, drink lemon water, write, go for a walk, exercise, gardening, contemplate, etc

Take a walk:

Just stop for a second go out the door and take a walk, breath fresh air and then come back, keep working. Just do it! (sorry nike) it’s all it takes.

Keep going, Don’t Freeze:

The secret of how to get things done and not procrastinate or not end up doing something else is to GET STARTED!. When you are ready to sit down to start that project, put yourself in a space where there is no distractions (even though they are still going to show up) when a distraction comes along notice it but consciously be very strong to stay focus on starting your task.

Don’t think about how you wont be able to finish it, and how you are going to need something else to finish it, just GET STARTED. Once you start is on! keep observing your thoughts to convince you to stop, don’t engage with them. The perfect analogy for this is the “getting yourself to the gym” one. Your mind will do all in it’s power to convince you not to go, once you are there you will get it done and the best part is that you’ll never regret you went.

 

If you are still here reading along (thanks for staying) and you would want to try to implement these, I suggest you start with 2 and keep doing them through out the month.

If you have other methods you use when feeling overwhelmed please share with us!

What do you do to alleviate feeling overwhelmed?

 

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

3 Money myth busters that changed my life

TDOY_bloglovintour_banner

Today I’m writing about a very important subject to me. Money! I love talking about money, unlike the average person, I like planning, doing math and get a high when money show me my future possibilities. This is not to say that I equally believe in all the happiness and joy that money can’t buy.

Before I keep going…

I’m honored to be part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here. The tour is about the “The declaration of you” book created to uncover your purpose in life. Our fellow artist and surface pattern designer Jessica Swift (who inspires me so much!) created it together with the re known “When I Grow Up Coach” Michelle Ward (who I will have as a coach one day). Many others have collaborated in the book and I can’t wait to have one of them in my hands soon!

TDOY_bloglovintour_Money_Success_book_budget_declaration_of_you

So, this week the tour subject is Money. There is so much to say about Money. Let me start by saying I believe money is energy. Only when it touches your hands it’s energy can be utilized for the highest purpose or for the lowest purpose and everything in between. Just like electricity. You can use it to make light or to make an atomic bomb! is up to us! but electricity it self without human intension is neutral, so is money.

Most of the times is very hard to break down and put it into everyday practice big words and concepts. I think the trick is to keep the spiritual and the mundane perspective together. Let’s move into a different big word (Peace) just as an example to illustrate these perspectives.

The broad perspective

Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

The broad concept that we relate to at a higher level because is a reminder of what we already know

The practice perspective

Practice Peace before you go to bed every night. Think about your day and intentionally one by one forgive the people (situation, company, collective, etc) you had discomfort with during the day (in particular the ones that you think are not important because they are so small they don’t really disturb your life). In your mind picture giving them a hug and saying I accept you, I love you, I send you free! we are all one. Thanks for being my teacher. At the end forgive yourself because your have forgotten briefly your loving and peaceful nature.

An example of a day to day practice to walk realistically towards peace in your life

This is just an example to illustrate how the main big concepts that rule life (Love, Health, Sex, Trust, etc) have 2 perspectives. I realized that I need both of those perspectives to fully experience the quality in all levels in my life… And that’s the magical a ha! moment I had a year ago about money. I was navigating myself only on the broad perspective of money and wasn’t really putting in practice the philosophy in the small day to day things of life,mostly because I didn’t know how but also because there were hidden money myth I was still believing in. So, I decided to embark in a journey of learning all I could about money! specifically how to transform it’s energy in powerful, abundant and prosperous tangible good actions and service for me and others.

Here are the main 3 Money myth busters that changed my life for ever:

1. Budgets are boring. I pay my bills on time and have money left over always therefore I don’t need a budget:

I know what you are thinking! “everybody knows budgeting helps when managing money”. Ok if you are not thinking that you are thinking “budgets are restricting”. I’m here to tell you, budgets are sexy (Don’t we all tend to be attracted to those who are organized and have it together) and liberating (specially when you don’t overspend and live within your means) Since I budget I feel like I got a raise. Every dollar that comes to me has a job. And no worries, when I say job I also mean vacation, fun, pocket money and shopping among many other. You can’t arrive at a financial goal if you don’t know where your money is going and what is doing. Which takes me to…

2. My life will be easier if I had more money and must financial problems will be solved:

Having more money almost never is the solution for your problems. (Just like liposuction is not the solution for an overweight person) Why? because we are treating the symptoms not the root of the problem. On the contrary, if you struggle managing the money you have now you struggles will worsen if you got more. So, is better if money comes when you are prepared for it (meaning you have self treated yourself and changed the money habits that weren’t serving you anymore). One of the things you can do to prepare for it is to have a plan. By plan I mean a long term plan, look ahead at least 5 years. Plan ahead your savings, paying your debt, building a rainy day fund, investing, buying a house, sending kids to college, etc. None of these things will just happen to you (even if you are doing what you love) you have to devise a strategy and follow through with it. The journey to a financially balanced life and to financial freedom could take a while depending on how intense you are and how much of a financial mess you have. It’s easy to get distracted, keep your plan always handy and be consistent.

3. Is tough out there for artists, believe me I’ve tried. I have a family, so I need my regular steady job

I’m going to start by saying there is nothing wrong with having a regular steady job. However, if deep down inside of you, your gut is telling you your dream is to do something different. Then you are not living in integrity with yourself and eventually the consequences of that could be worse than feeling the fear now to adventure into new carer grounds. There has never in history been a better time to embark in your own dream and manifest the carer/business/company/lifestyle you like. There are always amazing examples out there of people utilizing their passion and skills and creating a path for themselves and others by sharing their gifts to the world (and creating wealth while they do it). What I’m saying is. You can be a 6th grade teacher and complain about how your are never going to make more money or you can use your teaching abilities to develop a new curriculum or application were you teach kids and adults about a subject that matters to you through your own private organization. The important aspect here is to remember that we are never victims of the circumstances but that we indeed can ALWAYS be the CREATORS of our own reality despite of circumstances.

I year ago I started an amazing journey towards financial freedom in my personal life and professional life too. There is of course plenty more to learn still, yet today I stand with such a better understanding of the role that money plays in my life and how I get to choose how my money behaves for me and others.

If you feel you can relate in any way to what I’ve talked about money here you are cordially invited to be a part of The Declaration of You’s Facebook party this Friday at 9:30-10a PST/11:30a-12p CST/12:30-1p EST. We’ll be chatting in real time about MONEY over at facebook.com/TheDeclarationOfYou. Hope you can join us!”

FB-party-image

To close here is something to keep in mind!

I went to a seminar years ago called the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. I recall many things about it but one analogy got stuck with me forever and made a big impact in my life. Goes like this, a father takes his son for ice cream and his son asks for a cone with 2 ice cream scoops. He’s enjoying his cone but after jumping and being distracted the ice cream balls fell off the cone and the kid started crying. He wanted to go back to the ice cream shop and get ice cream again. This time around his dad only got him one scoop instead of two. Why do you think he only got him one this time. Because it was obvious to him that he couldn’t handle 2 just yet. When you show that you can manage something the universe rewards you with more. The way I see it, we are all managing the universes’s resources and the better job we do at it the more prosperous and abundant we become. If you needed someone to handle your money would you give it to the guy thats organized and has a balanced check book or would you give it to the one that has overdrafts and is in debt?

If you don’t know how to care for money, money will stay away from you – Robert Kiyosaki

some of my favorite money resources

daveramsey.com

ynab.com

richdad.com

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Why should you attend a Conference?

Hispanicize_2013_Dari_Design_Studio_Photo

While at Hispanicize this past week I had an Aha moment! where I started to see more clearly how important was for me to show up at this Conferences and how is my inspiration, endurance and creativity connected to my attendance to these events. So the big highlighted question in my head was

Why should you attend a Conference? 

… And before I go on. I mean: Why should you attend a Conference in your field not once but several times a year

• To get out of my daily routine and give myself the opportunity to  grow as a professional by embracing new settings. How are you going to know how you really behave, talk, sell yourself, react and/or feel if you don’t put yourself out there. I know we all know this, but getting out at least 3 times a year to a BIG conference has now moved up in my priority list! I learned many things about myself, I also found many others I want to improve and achieve. All of them I would have never really looked at in the face if it wasn’t because I immersed myself in the ocean of this conference. And even if is teh same conference every year there are always new people, make an effort to hang around outside of your click often.

• Networking, Networking and Networking. It never ceases to surprise me how the best projects or the best connections or ideas come from the people that I least expected. Of course in a conference your chances of making great connections are higher than in your home office. But I bring out this point because, often times while at a conference I end up working an idea together with someone that I’ve known for a long time. So, not only new people bring new opportunities, older relationships bring new ideas too under the magic of these huge events.

• To feel that I belong. At Hispanicize I felt I belonged. The main and most obvious reason is because I blog, and this was a conference for bloggers but there are also many other commun grounds such as I’m hispanic, I’m a women, I work from home, I’ve a dream, I own a business, I like all things entrepreneur, etc… I can go on and on. My point is the soft and comfortable feeling of belonging is a human nature desire and I think we should bring it into our lives often, specially if you work in your home office like me. That been said though, often conferences will only give you maybe one or two commun grounds and the rest is all new. Embrace that too, newness and uncomfortable is also a growing place and very necessary to burst new qualities in us.

• Face to face interaction. I have to confess, the first thing that people ask me all the time is: Don’t you get lonely working from home by yourself? the answer is 70% yes 30% no, Connecting with others in a personal level is essencial for human beings and a must for women. I’m always balancing out that side of my work because I think is very important to not isolate yourself, especially if you are like me that enjoys solitude so much. With face to face interaction comes all great benefits of real life business relationships, let’s not allow social media to makes us forget that.

These are reminders for me (and yes there are so many more reasons). As always, I hope they help you as well. When in doubt of attending a Conference, always remember we all rather do business with people than with a company. We buy and work with people mostly based on their personality and how we connect with them.

Also I heard many experienced bloggers say -Every year is the same thing (same people) I don’t think this is worth it anymore. I disagree, but again this was my first time. Sometimes is good to remember the excitement you had when you started. I hope this blog post not only reminds you of some good facts and reasons to invest in conferences but also helps you resemble that pasion for your blog again.

I would love to hear about what are your reasons to attend a Conference!! and which one do you attend

 

 

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Hispanicize was filled with awesomeness!!

Hispanicize2013_DariDesignStudio_Miami

We are back!! Miami and Hispanicize was pretty espectacular for us!! I can’t wait to share everything we learned

We met new people, made connections, got inspired, motivated and as a result many new ideas and projects are already bubbling up in my head.

Let me start by saying the whole scene was fantastic, Miami Beach sets you in the right mood. From day one the view from our hotel room was beautiful!! (Hence picture above).

It was hard not to think we were on vacation! I think is fair to say it was a very pleasurable business meeting. The value of loving and enjoying what we do and getting paid for it is priceless. So above all let me first take the time to thank God and the Universe for all these amazing opportunities coming our way! For me personally this was my first formal Bloggers Conference. (although we did attend The Niche Mommy  conference last year) and what can I say I came back all in love with it.

Even though Hispanicize is much more than a Blogger’s Conference, our interest was to get involve in the community mainly as latina bloggersEveryday our schedule was full with sessions and events. After day 2 it was already very challenging to make it to breakfast before 9am. I’ve been writing and digesting everything we experienced at the conference, it’s a lot, so I’m going to have to take it slow!

By looking at my pictures you can imagine how much eye candy there was. From people’s smiles, outfits, art pieces, hotel interior design, creative branding ideas, cute business cards to nature and the city. I have many posts coming your way very shortly about what we learned, what we did, what inspired us, outfits, our sponsorship Lowe’s, etc!

Oh and before I forget your social media feedback and support through out the whole week was amazing! Thank you!

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends