Posts by Cathy Davis

Roots of DeterminACTION

Many of you have heard stories about my family roots, me growing up in Oklahoma and how my Cherokee ancestors traversed the Trail of Tears, settling in Kansas and Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. Census records show the original Cherokee family name of SAU-WAH-GEE in the late 1700’s, and later, OO-YAH-SEE-WAH-TAH (perhaps, Oooh, Yeah, See Water!?) appears in the mid-1800’s. A look back on old family photos invariably show stern faces, furrowed brows and nary a smile. It was a tough crowd enduring a tough time.

DETERMINATION + ACTION = DeterminACTION

The photo above shows my Great-Grandfather, John Henry Miller standing in the back row, left. Census records show he was born in 1880, so the photo is probably circa 1890-1895. Those rough-and-tough times of uncertainty bred new generations of determination. He and my great-grandmother, Nancy Anne Mahoney, had 13 children in a 4-room house with an outhouse out back. I can only imagine how crazy that might have been during those long WINDY winters on the snowy Kansas plains. I guess that’s how they all learned their determination to survive! Most of those 13 siblings and their offspring went on to become farmers, ranchers, oilmen, retailers, barbers, beauticians, restaurateurs (the corner cafe), brewers, and more. If you couldn’t find a job, you created one for yourself.

“Roots” by Loryl (Davis) Breitenbach, 2008

There is definitely a thread of DeterminACTION in my DNA. Must be why I am so determined to not only grow our business, but to help our clients find ways to grow theirs as well. Just as strong roots help to build strong family ties, a sturdy, succinct brand foundation is necessary for building a strong tribe of followers and a growing business.

At Davis Creative, we’ve been busy creating new programs and offerings to help you attract more clients, help more people and grow your business.

Perhaps one of these new programs might be of interest to you or someone you know . . . (feel free to share):
  • Define, Design, Deliver Brand Identity Program — perfect for professional service providers and those in the “helping and healing” professions; includes a brand review and recommendations customized to help you grow your unique offerings.
  • “Summer Sizzle” Webinars — a series of FREE monthly Lunch & Learns where I interview people from around the country who are supporting self-published authors  http://daviscreative.com/add-sizzle-business-self-publishing/
  • “Living the INNERGIZED Life” Anthology — an economical way for authors to experience non-fiction self-publishing by submitting ONE chapter as a part of a compilation, with the common theme of “inner strength”    http://daviscreative.com/living-innergized-life-anthology/ (50% of the chapters have already sold, with a chapter deadline of 8/1/17)
  • “Ready, Set, Publish!” Program — for aspiring non-fiction authors who recognize the value of having a book to promote their brand, may not yet have a book, or have one started and aren’t too sure how to complete it or make it “sellable”. We mentor them through the self-publishing process, pair them up with writing coaches/ghostwriters, and help them write and/or complete their book (print and e-books). http://daviscreative.com/ready-set-publish/
  • Referral Rebates — Build up credits on your account to use now, or at a later date. Whether you are an existing client, or a yet-to-be client, each time you refer a new client to Davis Creative, you receive credits-on-account equal to 10% of the value of your referral’s first project with us. Simply send us an email introduction or remind your referral to mention your name when contacting us. We’ll notify you of your credits with a monthly statement.
Let me know how we can help . . . I’d love to help you bring your message to the public and help you build YOUR tribe! cathy@daviscreative.com

Our WHO, WHAT, WHY.

Our clients ask us a lot of questions. Things like . . .

  • How do I get more clients?
  • How can I stand out from my competition?
  • How can I be seen as the expert?
  • How can I make more $$$ ?
  • How can I sell more books?
  • How can I grow my business?

They also ask, “Can you help me?”

You betcha. AND I can break the answer down into three parts: WHO, WHAT & WHY.

WHO ARE WE?
Imagineers & Inventors. Discoverers & Directors. Marketers & Magicians. Crafters & Communicators. We create brand identities. 
As two veteran brand and marketing professionals, we “earned our keep” in the corporate world for a couple of decades (or so). Upon receiving the “gift” of being downsized in late 2003, I (Cathy) officially began providing independent design and brand consulting services in January of 2004. Jack followed the same path during the Summer of 2008, at which point we realized we were actually creating our own new JOINT brand identity.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We help brand-befuddled entrepreneurs and small business owners Look Good, Attract More Clients and Monetize Their Passion. 
Our clients include life coaches, mentors, therapists, physicians, educators, authors, speakers, non-profits, and a spectrum of professional service providers . . . all having one thing in common . . . they are making this world a better place. Our client base spans the globe with a client reach in all 50 states and 17 countries.
We Brand. We Design. We Publish.
  • BRAND: As brand identity experts, we help you clarify your brand with our deep-dive DEFINE, DESIGN, DELIVER brand re-invention program. We identify your unique VISUAL, VERBAL and VIRTUAL message to help you stand out in a crowd.
  • DESIGN: Yes, we design logos . . . AND MORE. As veteran graphic designers, we create unique visual brands to help position you as an expert and a leader in your field. We discuss color, fonts, white-space and more.
  • PUBLISH: As Certified Professional Publishing Consultants and book designers, we guide you through the often-confusing world of publishing and show you how to use your book as a marketing tool.
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
Our mission at Davis Creative is to help create a “Happy, Healthy, Heart-filled Planet” by providing opportunities to help service-oriented small business owners grow their businesses. Having created a “new identity” for ourselves over 13 years ago, and continuing to pivot as the market changes, we know what it is like to stumble along with a “fuzzy brand” . . . AND we know the steps it takes to clarify one’s message and attract more clients. We’d love to help you do the same!

Naughty Nuffs

Yep. They snuck up again. The Naughty Nuffs.

Just when I least expected it . . . there they were. I could hear their voices whispering, “NOT ENUFF time.” . . . “NOT ENUFF clients.”  . . . “NOT ENUFF help.” . . . “NOT ENUFF $ in that bank account.” It was a never-ending loop, and I knew it was time to put a stop to it.
Juggling 10,000 balls (sometimes it really feels like it).
As a small business owner, it is easy to get caught up in trying to “do it by myself”- especially when I fool myself into thinking I’m saving $$. Unfortunately, I end up sacrificing sanity and sleep in exchange for setting myself up for a Naughty Nuff visit. You see, on some days, I wear too many hats . . . Sales Manager, Project Manager, Marketing Manager, Web Manager, Social Media Manager, Customer Service Manager, Designer, Writer, Collaborator, Bookkeeper, et al . . . NO WONDER the Naughty Nuffs start to tap me on the shoulder . . . AND if I pretend to not notice, the “taps” become “whacks”, eventually knocking me off my feet.
Standing up to the Naughty Nuffs. 
When I recognize the return of the Naughty Nuffs, I’ve learned the best solution for me is to pause and simply B.R.E.A.T.H.E.:
  • BACK-OFF from my TO-DO’s. Take a step back for a better perspective.
  • REASSESS my priorities. Of ALL the things on my list, which ones are essential for only ME to do? What can I delegate out?
  • EXPECT the BEST to happen next. I know that a fantastic solution exists and is about to reveal itself to me, any minute now.
  • ASK for help, and be willing to ACCEPT it. Asking for help allows me to jump off the “mouse wheel” and puts me in a better position to receive. Accepting help creates a new collaborative energy flow and allows me to better focus on my priorities.
  • TRUST the process, trust the people I delegate to, AND trust myself to make the best decisions to GROW our business.
  • HAVE AT IT. When I celebrate the “HAVEs”, such as, “I have all the time I need  . . .”, more time magically appears. I really like saying, “I have all the money I need . . .”, and watching more money magically appear.
  • EXHALE BIG deep breaths. When I remember to breathe (especially the EXHALE part), I’m more calm, more centered, and I get more accomplished.
I’ve noticed the time in-between the Naughty Nuff visits has started to expand – they visit less often than they used to. Eventually, I expect to reach a point where I no longer receive visits from the Naughty Nuffs. Wouldn’t THAT be grand?!

Signs of the Times

In the 1991 movie, “LA Story”, Steve Martin plays a wacky weatherman who struggles to make sense of the strange world of Los Angeles in the early 1990’s with the help of a talking freeway billboard.

If only it were that easy to see the “signs”.
I’ve always wanted to believe those same signs could to talk to ME. When LIFE gets crazy on the macro level – whether I’m juggling several projects or simply frustrated with the discouraging political climate — it can easily affect my personal (micro level) perspective on life. I’m constantly looking for “signs” to help me navigate life and help me make those “next best step” decisions. And, yes, I’ll admit it . . . I’ve even looked at the highway signs, hoping they would magically send me the message I needed to see at that moment.

When someone recently asked me, “How do you stay ‘in the flow’?”, I answered, “I read. I listen to audio books. I listen to music. I listen to the silence. I watch sunsets. I watch for the full moon. I read license plates. I look for signs. I happen to believe the Universe drops ‘bread crumbs’ of clues – AKA: ‘signs’ for me to follow.”

I just need to be awake enough to notice,
mindful enough to make the connection, and
trusting enough to relax and move forward.

I got a sign!
We had another round of tumultuous storms last week in STL, with power outages affecting the internet, creating havoc in our otherwise typical work day. Thankfully we had electricity, but no internet or cable service to run the office. I could feel the sense of frustration mounting, as I had several proposals to send out via email. How was I supposed to meet my self-imposed sales goal for this month if I couldn’t follow up?! Debating with myself in my head about leaving to go find a coffee shop with internet vs. waiting it out, I walked by the cable box in the bedroom and saw this . . .

Hunt?  Hunt for what?! Hunt for new clients?
Hunt for a coffee shop? Hunt for a solution?
As I walked back into the office, still contemplating the pros-and-cons of the local coffee shop, Jack announced he had found a temporary solution by setting up his cell phone as a “hot spot”. He showed me how to do the same, and we proceeded to “hop on-and-off” the internet through our data plan (carefully trying to not over-use it). I was able to send the emails I absolutely-positively needed to get out that morning (and I avoided the crowds at the coffee shop – YAY).

Now, in all fairness, Jack was probably already working on the solution BEFORE I saw the message from the cable box . . . but I still like to believe my electronics talk to me. Maybe it was simply trying to tell me that Jack was already “on the hunt”.

Sometimes we don’t even know what we are “hunting for” until we find ourselves amidst the HUNT.

Looking for my MOJO

Yep. It happened. Again.

Mercury was not retrograde, nor could I blame a full moon . . . but after 10 straight days of overcast skies and rain, my MOJO was drained. It was time to inject a bit MORE JOY back into my daily routine.

Apparently, this is something I’ve been working on for several decades. I found a photo, circa 1959, showing my 3-year-old self, planted sturdily on a cliff (albeit a short 3-foot drop), searching for something. I call it my “Pocahontas stand” (minus hands-on-hips). After all, I had on my cowgirl suede fringe coat and cowboy boots (hidden by the tall grass) . . . looking around for something . . . while my headscarf was “blowing in the wind”. More than likely, my older brother or sister (10 and 12 years my senior) planted me up there and I was looking for a way to get down – a way to change my perspective.

Finding My MOJO . . . and a new perspective.

Over the years, I’ve developed specific routines for regaining my MOJO . . . my sense of self . . . my calm . . . my MORE JOY state of mind . . .

  • Surround myself with a loving, caring, supportive community
  • Reach out to those I trust for conversation (and a glass of wine, as needed)
  • Set aside time each day for “quiet time” to let the crazy voices in my head subside
  • Go for a drive with the windows down to “blow out” the left-over crazy voices in my head
  • Listen to a motivational audio (I have a short list – contact me if you are interested in knowing more)
  • Take a mid-day, no-noise, 10-minute “time out” on the sofa. Eyes closed, NO people, NO TV, NO computer, NADA. NUTTIN.

I don’t always notice right away when I’ve lost my MOJO . . . and the longer it takes me to notice, the longer it takes me to get “it” back. But when I DO finally stop long enough to regain a sense of MORE JOY, life just seems to go so much more smoothly . . . I’m . . .

  • much more calm and relaxed
  • better able to support my clients
  • less stressed by business hiccups
  • more refreshed and “INNERgized”
  • more creative with ideas and solutions
  • more positive about opportunities and outcomes

So, the next time you’ve lost your MOJO . . . give me a call . . . I’d be happy to meet you for a glass of wine and a friendly, co-supportive conversation.

Creating Positive RIPPLES

At Davis Creative, our mission is to “create positive ripples”, and our purpose is to help YOU (our clients) help more people. You rely upon us to help you Look Good, Attract More Clients and Make More Money, and we love helping you create a “Happy, Healthy, Heart-filled Planet” — be it the mental-, physical-, financial-, or social-health of an individual, business or community.

From logos and taglines to business cards and books . . . our client base spans the globe with sales in all 50 states and in 17 countries. We help the “helpers and healers” . . . the life coaches, mentors, therapists, physicians, educators, authors, speakers, and a spectrum of professional service providers — all having one thing in common — they are making this world a better place.

Our RIPPLES . . . Our Core Beliefs . . . Our Client Commitment:

  • RESPECT: We value diversity, unique perspectives and positive experiences.
  • INTEGRITY: We take responsibility and do the right thing.
  • PASSION: We love working with people who are passionate about their business and about helping others.
  • PROMISE: We keep our word and make a commitment to support our clients’ best interests.
  • LEGACY: We give. We give back. We give our clients their brand advantage.
  • EXCELLENCE: We believe “Good Design is Good Business”, and good design encourages an atmosphere of excellence.
  • SHARING: A peaceful world starts with sharing a single smile.

Sharing our RIPPLES . . .

The greatest compliment we receive is your repeat business. The second greatest compliment we receive is your referral to a new client! If you know someone who you think would be a great fit and needs our help, have them give Cathy a call at 888-598-0886.

Set the S.T.A.G.E. for Success

This past weekend, I was a guest panelist during Monica Shah’s 3-day “Master Your Money” conference in Atlanta. As our time slot approached, I found myself nervous and apprehensive (always happens when doing something new in front of a couple-hundred strangers). Yet I knew once I stepped up onto the stage, my “Professional Cathy” brain would kick in and all would be well.

When preparing for speaking events, I use the acronym, “S.T.A.G.E.” to calm my nervous jitters:

  • S = SLOW DOWN. Remember to breathe.
  • T = TRUST THE PROCESS. You’ve done this before, you can do it again.
  • A = ACT AS IF. You were invited to participate because someone knew you would make a positive contribution. Just go do it.
  • G = GET GOING. One foot in front of the other — “. . . and soon you’ll be dancin’ out the door”. (I sometimes use this one at the dentist, as well.)
  • E = EXPECT THE BEST. You can do this.

Working with a business coach has allowed us to set-the-stage for building a better business.

As a member of the “Money Club Success Panel”, I was invited to share three things:

  1. Where was our business BEFORE we began working with Monica?
  2. How has our business changed over the past year?
  3. What encouragement can we offer to other small business owners?

Before we began working with Monica, we were riding the “Hope and Pray” roller-coaster with varying income extremes for WA-A-AY too many years. Deciding to work with Monica as our business coach gave us a PLAN, a PURPOSE and a way to project a PROFIT.

Within 9 months of consistently following her guidance, our confidence grew exponentially along-side our client list, and in 4 out of the last 5 months, we have doubled our income over last year’s numbers.

Whether working with a business coach, or following a different path, once you make a commitment to grow your business . . . just stay focused and do the work . . . you WILL see results.

Be willing to take the next-best-step for YOU.

How are YOU setting the stage for your business to succeed?

The BIG Donut

I’m convinced that children are here to help us remember the “important stuff”.

We had a lovely gathering at our home yesterday, celebrating the rebirth of Spring. The Easter Bunny left a few awesome treats for the grand-bubs, and four generations gathered for the “feast”.

In addition to the many main dishes, it became apparent that desserts were a big feature, as with only 6 adults and two toddlers, we ended up with four homemade desserts – apple pie, banana pudding, banana split pie, and the “BIG Donut”.

Mr. N, the youngest (soon to be three years old), squealed with glee when Poppi (aka: Jack) placed a homemade Chocolate with Red Wine Bundt Cake on the table, shouting “BIG Donut!” as he wiggled with anticipation.

You see, donuts have become a bonding experience for the two little guys. Poppi is known for picking the boys up on a slow work-day morning, and making an impromptu “donut run”, followed by a stop at a local playground to run off the sugar before taking them back home.

Donuts have a much bigger meaning than simply sugar and flour. Donuts represent “bonding time”. . . a time where no electronic devices reign supreme over sitting across a table from your Poppi and sharing donuts and milk . . . and discussing how great it would be to have a donut as big as the one on the poster at the donut shop.

Mr. N was not even concerned about having to share this BIG Donut . . . there was certainly enough to go around. His full-belly sigh, coupled with a slight eye-roll as he leaned back in his chair, told us all he had reached his Donut Nirvana.

It’s great to be (almost) three and realize somebody “gets” you.

It’s great to be (twenty-times) three and realize somebody “gets” you.

Creating Your Dreamcatcher Platform

The number one question I get from non-fiction authors is, “How do I sell more books?”
It’s not about how well you sell your book, but how well your book sells YOU.
Marketing your book begins before your book is ever published, and begins with developing your Author Platform. Your Author Platform becomes your foundation – not only for your book, but for your entire business.
The Dreamcatcher, as explained in a variety of Native American traditions, exists as a safety net – a way to let the bad dreams flow on past us, while attracting and retaining the good. Much like the traditional elements of a Dreamcatcher, your author platform consists of three primary elements:
  1. The HOOP represents the foundation of WHO you are, your essence, your unique sense of self. Who are you? What is your history? What gives you credibility and “expert” status? It does not necessarily need to be the extra alphabet letters after your name – more-often-than-not, it also includes your life experiences which have allowed you to develop into who you are now. Having a well-defined Author Platform creates a strong foundation for building your tribe of followers.
  2. The WEB represents WHAT you stand for, and HOW your unique offering serves others. What is your mission, your passion – both personally and professionally? Quite often, it’s our life “mess” which becomes our message. How can you take that message and share it with the world? How can you share your life lessons to help others? Weaving a well-crafted, consistent visual, verbal and virtual message attracts people who are eager to work with you, and will more than likely be the ones who buy your book.
  3. The EMBELLISHMENTS (feathers, beads, arrowheads) represent HOW you serve others. These are your gifts to your tribe, your followers. Interacting with your tribe strengthens your platform and helps to build a stronger relationship:
  • Social media – be visible where they hang out.
  • Workshops, webinars – create programs to share your knowledge and experience.
  • Blogs, guest-blogging – reach a larger audience.
  • Events – attend, become involved, extend your network, plan your own.
  • Partnerships – create online and in-person events to increase visibility.
In several Native American tribes, the female elders crafted the Dreamcatcher in order to capture the good dreams that would otherwise blow away in the night winds. Building a strong Author Platform works in much the same way – allowing you to capture the attention your target audience, strengthen relationships with existing clients and attract new members to your tribe.

Planting Seeds

EXTERIOR GARDENING. My maternal grandmother taught me the annual Spring ritual of digging in the dirt (AKA: gardening). There’s something about cleaning out all the dead residual from last year, clearing space for the new buds to pop through the soil, and making room for the new flowers to join the bulbs.

INTERIOR GARDENING. We’ve also been doing the same at work . . . rearranging furniture and eliminating unnecessary items to create better “flow” for how WE move within the space, as well as how the WORK flows within the space. We’ve cleaned out files and cabinets, moved unused furniture to the basement, and donated five-plus boxes of books . . . allowing us to maximize the space and make room for all the new client work coming our way.

I even find myself consciously keeping my desk more clutter-free and organized. It never fails, whenever business starts to slow down, I pause, take a look at my desk, and start cleaning and organizing . . . and sure enough . . . we get busy again. Now, that’s not the ONLY reason, but it sure doesn’t hurt, and I always feel more “open and in control” with an organized desk.

So, this Spring finds me “setting the stage”, both in my yard and in my office, for great things to continue bursting forth.

What great expectations are you setting forth this Spring?