[FUEL] Lifecycle of a Project – Four Phases and Challenges of Each Phase

By Dawn Shuler We all have projects, and as creative entrepreneurs, boy-oh-boy, do the project possibilities multiply! (I’ll talk later about all those unfinished projects. 🙂 If you’re getting that itch again to create something new, take a look at the four phases of a project to see what it is that really jazzes you. It may be that you love one phase over another, and THAT is what has you starting new projects again and again. Phase 1: Design – For most entrepreneurs, this is the fun part. This is the whole reason you probably have dozens if not hundreds of project ideas. It’s that idea of possibility… what can you create? What’s needed? How can you bring your amazingness into the world through this specific thing? Oh, it’s a wonderful thing to dream of creation! Think of the Design phase as the asking questions phase: What is it?
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Look, Ma… hands!

By Dawn Shuler In my late teens/early twenties, I began my love affair with needlework and quilting.  I loved the idea that I could create something with my own two hands (well, and some string and fabric).  And there were so many possibilities! Gorgeous, sumptuous colors, heart-stopping patterns, and hours of meditative productivity. That love affair has stood the test of time, and I’ve since added additional lovers: painting, fleece blankets, Zentangles, and coloring. There’s something magical about watching something transform before your very eyes with colors, fabric, string, pencils.  To see the progression and the underlying, sometimes soulful pattern emerge. Recently, I’ve heard of some electronic methods of coloring, like Recolor.  You can make some beautiful pictures and even add some neat effects. But it’s with an electronic device… I think something is lost when we continue to be attached to our phones, tablets, and laptops.  When do we
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[FUEL] Is it time to come out of your shell?

By Dawn Shuler Entrepreneurs and business owners often go through cycles. We can be all spitfire and balls o’ energy, and then we go into downtime, replenish, and retreat mode. We can’t be at high productivity and creativity all the time; we need the rest part of the creativity cycle. At the same time, we can’t be in rest mode all the time, or nothing gets done! And then there’s the in-between, the status quo, where we just keep doing what we’ve been doing, not adding anything new, and not really retreating into our shells. That place can feel reeeeaaaaalllly comfortable after a while, especially if revenues are steady. “Hey, I’m bringing in income. I’m working. It’s all good.” However, at some point, that status quo will start to change. Maybe clients aren’t renewing like they used to, and new ones aren’t coming in. Or you’re not getting as many
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