Archive for the ‘business development’ Category

So what is your plan for 2011?

January 10, 2011

Passions at Play Art & DesignHappy New Year Everyone!

Last year was filled with changes for many of us and to many people I talk to it feels like 2011 is going to be the year to manifest from all that change. This is the year that we can settle in and move forward. For me change has included moving to a small city from a big one, and that means moving my design and art business from a big city to a small one. Using the internet to keep connected to the outside world is key, however there is also a whole new audience and market to work with here in the high desert and that means adjusting my business vision to fit in this place as well.

So my first blog of the year is going to be about strategy and how you can use it to create the success you wish to achieve.

So what’s your plan and how do you go about making one?

I find that the best way to start off my year is to look back at what worked and what did not work over the last year. Honestly evaluating my performance, my accomplishments and my strategies really helps me to look at what I might continue using, what I need to get rid of and what I might want to just tweak and make work a little better.

Then I write a vision statement that is the picture of what I want in my life and my business. I do this in the present tense because then as I repeat it daily it becomes clearly what  “is” and not what I just wish for. It is funny how our brain does not really know the difference between reality and fantasy and it just assumes that if we keep talking about it, it must be the way things are! (thanks Penny Stephens)

So now that I know what I want to happen, I can go about creating the strategies that will actually make it happen. This is where my calendar comes in. I still need a day planner/calendar, even with my smart phone and my computer, I find that I need a book that I can write in and keep track of days, plans, projects all in one place. This works for me. Writing out a marketing plan- who is my target market, what are their needs and how do I reach them? These are the questions I need to answer to round out my plans. It tells me where I need to advertise, who I need to network with, and how can I be of service to my customers and my community. There will be the occasional client that just pops up out of the blue, but to build a consistent business requires working within a strategy, following through and being consistent. These are also key questions I use when helping my clients plan their marketing needs.

So what I know today is that Passions at Play is an art and graphic design business. What is my focus and what do I have to offer that other design businesses do not? I am an artist as well and so I bring a certain sense of creativity and artistry that is unique. Being an illustrator and photographer gives me the ability to create unique images that are specific to the needs of my clients. And knowing how to use internet and web design also gives them a full spectrum of ways to meet their clients needs. My goal this year is to hone all of this down into a more clear and concise message that shows the benefit that working with me can give. My tagline for the last couple of years has been- “Peace, Love and Prosperity require Creativity!” – This fits my goals and who I am and that is what a tagline should do. This is also a good tagline for my personal life and I find that creativity is required in every aspect of what I enjoy, and want to achieve. I find that building a business that is consistent with my personal values and desires is a huge asset when it comes to being consistent.

So what is your favorite way to plan your new year and how has it evolved over the years to help meet the needs of your clients and your life?

So the new year has begun and we are all in this together. Let’s go out and make it the best year ever!

Peace, Love and Prosperity REQUIRES Creativity!

Cheryl McDonald is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design to see some of her work please go to

To see some of her photography, please go to


Change that makes sense… surprisingly

November 16, 2010
Eastern Sierras-5 fingers mountain by Cheryl McDonald

Eastern Sierras-5 fingers mountain

When you are the captain of your own ship and suddenly the ship vers off in a completely different direction from where you have set the course, what do you do? Well I guess there are several things you can do:

option 1

You could use all your strength and might and try to turn the ship back around and keep banging your head on the same wall over and over hoping that at some point you will knock it over and you can have what you think you want on the other side.

or option 2

You could take stock of where you thought you were headed, was it really the right direction? Were you making the progress you wanted to make or had you just gotten bogged down in the muck and may as well have dropped anchor.

or option 3

You can look at the new course you are on, brought about by circumstances, and decide that hey! this is a direction I had never thought about before and Hey! maybe this will actually get me where I wanted to go in the first place!

I have chosen option 3

I have moved the ship of Passions at Play Art and Design to the Mojave desert. Ships in the desert? Yes I know, but these are interesting times and we need new and interesting solutions. Now located in Ridgecrest, California, in a valley between the Sierras and the Panamint Mountains, I have found a warm and comfortable community in which to create and develop. Through the wonders of the internet and UPS I can conduct business with  clients anywhere right from my little home in the desert.

So now that I have established myself here physically, I can now more fully establish my business here as well. This blog is the first step to letting you all know that I am still here, still creating and still available to help you add beauty through photography and watercolor to your homes, offices and business materials and books. Let’s create the beautiful world we all want to live in. This blog will be evolving as I evolve and Passions at Play evolves. More Art that inspires and supports a peaceful world is where I am headed at the moment. Web presence will be updated to include ways to purchase prints and other items. And I will be doing more exhibits and fairs and showings so that I can meet the people who inspire me to paint and photograph.

Change can be a difficult thing or it can be an easy thing, but one thing is for sure change is inevitable and we can either accept it and make the most of it and be happy or fight it and be miserable. I choose to be happy.

Creativity is humanities expression of its inherent divinity.

this I believe

Artist, Illustrator, or Designer…yes!

February 9, 2010

letting go-by cheryl mcdonald

The last couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of self- evaluation- again- I keep going through this I guess, because I just can’t possibly believe that it is possible to be able to promote all of the things I do! Most of the art and design gurus tell us that it is important to focus on one style or one medium or at least one profession- So I keep trying to figure out which of these things I should be working on. The trouble is I have successes in all of these things- illustration, fine art, and graphic design and I love doing them all! I also have several different styles and work in several different mediums, and am told that I do them all rather successfully. It is interesting to me also that all of these things sort of rotate through my life. And I am beginning to see that, that is how I should work them- Putting the money and attention and resources on the one that is creating the fullness and bringing the most passion to my life at the moment. I have had this feeling that if I could just get “someone who knows” to tell me what I should do, then I could just do it. Guess what, everyone has a different opinion on what I should do and where I should focus. All of them credible in their fields. What I am learning- actually re-learning is that I really need to trust myself on this, follow my passions which just happen to be all of these things and use all of the tools I know to share my multiple talents to create the beauty and truth and wisdom I am given every day.

What I also realize is that discipline is necessary to carry out what needs to be done to accomplish the goals I have for each of these aspects. And that also is only something I can do for myself. As a business owner, I am in charge of my day- so I need to follow through on the tasks that need to be done. It is my responsibility to do the promotion, the daily connecting with clients as well as the daily creating. How lucky am I to have to create everyday!

There are no limits and the more I learn, the more I have to share. I guess the real issue is just being in balance and that is a subject for another day.

Just maybe that is the beauty of the name of my company- Passions at Play Art & Design.

Art and Design are my passion, and my way of playing through life.