Isle Do-It-Later

On the ISLE of DO-IT-LATER, things get postponed . . . put off . . . put aside.

Complacency becomes the fog that obscures our hopes and dreams and convinces us that it is much easier to just DO-IT-LATER. As we settle into our complacency, we run the risk of convincing ourselves that all is well, yet bemoan others as we watch them sail on by.

Much was the story of Meryl. Her coaching business was doing “fine” . . . it kept her busy for about 10 hours a week and brought in added income for the family. Her youngest just graduated from high-school, was working full-time during the Summer, and was headed off to college in the Fall.

She was starting to feel the anxious nudge in the core of her chest again. She had been ignoring it for years, as it continued to get louder and more frequent. “When are you going to finish your book, Meryl?”, it would ask. She would always find something “more important” which needed her attention. Until now. She decided it was time to start taking care of Meryl and turn her attention to growing her business.

Meryl found the courage to reach out and ask us for help. We created a plan which included a complete brand update and we paired her with one of our professional writing coaches who helped her finish her book. Meryl now uses her book as a key personal growth tool in her private mastermind groups. Her business has doubled in the past year and she has a waiting list of people wanting to work with her one-on-one.

Meryl jumped off the ISLE of DO-IT-LATER, learned to believe in herself, and trusted others to help her raise her level of expectations for what she wanted to accomplish. Her confidence soared and her business followed suit.

What have you put aside that you would LOVE to be doing right NOW?

What can you now START that you have continued to postpone?

What would you be doing, if you knew you could not fail?

Maybe it’s time to hop off the ISLE of DO-IT-LATER.

HOPE as the American Way

July 4thwas my mother’s birthday. As a former military wife, it was immensely important to her to fly the American flag and wear red-white-and-blue in honor of “the American Way”.

It was a much simpler time, in 1939. In this photo, my mother was 16 and on her way to the annual “Cherokee Strip Land Run” celebration in her home town of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Much like today’s county fairs, there would have been a carnival atmosphere with games, events and DANCES! If there was a party, a dance, or a celebration, it would have been on her calendar.

In September, 1893, the Cherokee Strip Land Run opened over 12,000 square miles of new territory to white settlers. A single gunshot at noon signaled the start of what has been billed as “the largest, most spectacular” competitive event in history. Historians say that between noon and sunset, some 40,000 homesteads of 160 acres each had been claimed. Seven counties were populated, numerous town sites had been established and what was to later become the state of Oklahoma (14 years later) began to take shape.

Fast-forward to 2018, and I hang the American flag on our front porch this week in memory of my Mother and how much it meant to her. But, as I do so, I also ask myself, “How would I currently define the American Way?” I find myself having to redefine what that means to ME.

For me, the American Way is a way of life. I want to live in a land of HOPE. The HOPE that dreams can come true for those born here, as well as for those who immigrate here. We are all immigrants, unless you are Native American. My ancestors came here from Germany, England, and Ireland. They traversed the Trail of Tears and married Cherokee natives. My bloodlines are a melting pot of many cultures, traditions and dreams.

So, on this 4thof July, it is my HOPE for you, and for all who enter this country looking for HOPE, that you are able to follow your dreams and live in HOPE and FREEDOM with your families. May you find joy, happiness and something to celebrate this week!

“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

— From Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus,
as it appears on the Stature of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Logos, Taglines, and Books, Oh My!

Almost 15 years.
A lot has changed in our world of branding, designing and publishing since we started Davis Creative. We’ve made a lot of pivots, and we still LOVE what we do,

Years ago, way before I started working for myself, I heard Les Brown on PBS talking about the “pivot” as he shared the metaphor of how each of us is the pilot of our own airplane (life). If we are flying from NY to LA, it may appear to be a direct, non-stop flight, but the pilot is constantly in “pivot mode” — adjusting speed, altitude and direction as they navigate around storms, mountains, or other planes. As Les pointed out, as the pilot of our own life, one must learn to pivot if we want to survive and thrive.
Almost 15 years of pivoting.
In January of 2004, we primarily designed logos and printed materials (business cards, brochures, annual reports, sales sheets, packaging, etc.). Jack used to call it “bird cage lining.” Over the years, as technology entered the picture, we pivoted to meet the demand for images and messaging which supported brands in the digital age. We also entered the publishing arena, which now accounts for 90% of our workflow.
So, when a client asked me recently, “Do you still do logos?”, it caused me to pause a bit. Of course, my answer was, “YES!”, but I also realized that because we have been mostly talking about the publishing side of our business, that there may be other people out there who may be thinking the same thing.
So, in case you need a refresher on just exactly what it is that we do . . .

We Brand, We Design, We Publish.

LOGOS, TAGLINES, and BOOKS, Oh My!

We Help You LOVE Your Business Again.

 

Sphere of Influence.

Thank you for your recent referrals! Because of you, we are able to help more small business owners grow their businesses!

A long-time client recently commented . . .

“People are amazed when we tell them we are self-published. The books you design for us look like they have been produced by a traditional publisher!”

We invest 100% of our time and energy to delivering first-class service to our clients. As a result, our valued clients, suppliers, and friends continue to refer their family, friends and business associates to us for advice when they are ready to Brand, Design and Publish.

 

Who else do you know who deserves the extra care and attention we provide our clients?

We aren’t looking for just anyone.

We are expanding our SPHERE of Influence to include more people like you — people and businesses who . . .

S = Serve their community through their business — be it city, state, around the country or throughout the world

P = Professional experts — passionate about what they offer and how they can help

H = Heart-centered and health-minded — be it mental-, physical-, financial- or social-health

E = Energized and excited about bringing a better way of “being” or “doing” to the world

R = Respectful of diversity and welcoming of all positive paths, be it race, religion or gender

E = Entrepreneurial in mindset and eager to grow their business and help others along the way

There is SO MUCH more to great book design than fonts, colors and Create Space.

If you’d like to learn more about our SPHERE of Influence Referral Program, or how we can help you grow your business with our Brand, Design and Publish programs, contact Cathy@daviscreative.com or 888-598-0886.

I guess I’m full of it.

So, I got a great compliment today . . .
“I’m in awe of how FULL-OF-LIFE your
newsletters are! I always look forward to
getting them in my inbox”.
 ___________________________________________________
And it got me to thinking . . . what else am I FULL of?
  • ThankFULL to be living at this time on this planet. As crazy and as uncertain as life can get these days, we have front-row-seats to the unbelievable transformations occurring in cultures, communities and conversations.
  • GrateFULL to still be working in an industry which has grown and changed beyond recognition from where it was when we got our first
    jobs in the mid-1970’s.
  • ResourceFULL and able to pivot our creative talents to accommodate the ever-changing branding and publishing industries.
  • ImpactFULL in helping to grow our clients’ businesses . . . those small-business owners, solo-preneurs, service professionals, therapists, helpers and healers . . . as together, we are creating positive ripples out into our global community.
  • FaithFULL that even when the light at the end of the tunnel may be dim and difficult to see, there is still hope, giving us the energy to keep moving forward and see the cup at AT LEAST half-FULL.

 

Meet CHEWY, our new in-office mascot, playing with one of his favorite toys — an empty plastic cup.

 
Give us a call . . . we are chock-FULL of ideas to help you grow your brand and publish your book.
 
How can we help you fill YOUR cup?
We Brand, We Design, We Publish.
We INNERGIZE Your Business.
We create brands and publish books which connect people, awaken humanity, and contribute to making a positive impact on the lives of the people we reach. Yep.

What Happened to Compassion?

Mother Earth is pissed off, and has a need to blow off a little (or a lot of) steam. I’m a big believer in the correlation between “earth energy” and “people energy”. You know, that macro- vs. micro-level theory. When the negative energy in humans reaches a boiling point, at some level it affects the energy of the global community, thereby affecting the energy of our globe, AKA: earth.
The divide and discourse between people seems to be getting wider and hotter (many theorize at the hands of social media), and our youth has no idea how to handle rejection. Let alone how to play well together on the playground. My conversation is not about politics or guns (although it COULD BE). It’s about how people treat people.
I don’t know the answer. I wish I did.
So, the best I can do is to keep offering POSITIVE energy out into a world which so desperately needs it right now . . . hoping my little positive ripple reaches out and diffuses some little bit of resistance and hate.
Go ahead, call me Pollyanna . . . others have. But if I believe it could happen at the micro level, that also means it could happen at the global level.
Please join me. Let’s try it.

ASK CATHY: Should I sign a contract with a publisher?

Good things come to those who wait (a bit).

BUT NO HAND SANITIZER!

When you ask an almost 4-year-old what kind of birthday cake they would like for their birthday dinner, it’s almost certain they will respond with their favorite. So, when I asked Mr. N this question, he responded right away with, “LEMON!” To be immediately followed by a pointer-finger shaking in my direction, “AND NO HAND SANITIZER!”

I figured there must be more to this story.

Come to find out, he learned the hard way, that if you are in a hurry to eat your cake, and your Mom/Dad rushes over with the hand sanitizer before your eager hands can partake . . . one MUST WAIT patiently for the hand sanitizer to dry before grabbing the cake with your hands. Otherwise, it tastes YUCKY!

Exactly (pretty much) what I tell most of the authors who are referred to us after they have heard the phrase, “We’d like to publish your book!” from a self-proclaimed “publisher.”

OK . . . so, what I ACTUALLY tell them is, “Take a deep breath, and don’t sign that contract until we have had a conversation! (Since we are talking via phone, they can’t see me shaking my pointer finger in their direction.)

Don’t be in such a hurry to sign those contracts, people. One must wait patiently and review the pros-and-cons. Otherwise, the results could be very YUCKY!”

Now, I’m not a publishing attorney (but I know a few, AND know when to refer you in the right direction). Having been around the publishing industry for almost 15 years, I’ve have had many an author referred to us AFTER they have signed a contract (which, of course is when I refer them to the attorney). I can help you BEFORE you sign the contract in three main areas:

  • I can help you interpret the big picture and turn industry jargon into words more easily understood
  • I can help you come up with a list of questions to ask to clarify anything that does not make sense
  • I can inform you of industry-specific best-practices and help you avoid signing a contract which does not serve your best interest

But, they said . . . “We’d like to publish your book!”

These are the words most authors yearn to hear the most. Unfortunately, not all “publishers” are credible. It seems that just about anyone these days can call themselves a publisher, and many do . . . no matter their qualifications.

How can you protect yourself and not get pulled into a less-than-professional contract? Be ready with these questions:

  1. Do I pay for standard editing, design, marketing, and promotion?
  2. How do you charge for your services?
  3. What kinds of services do you offer?
  4. Do I retain the copyright to my words?
  5. Am I required to buy copies of my book as part of the contract?
  6. Who is your distributor?
  7. Do you offer marketing and promotion support?
  8. If so, where/how does my book get promoted? Does it cost extra?
  9. Will I be involved with the cover design?
  10. How many books do you publish per year?
  11. How long have you been involved with publishing?
  12. Can you give me contact info for recommendations from authors they have worked with?
  13. Will you be getting an advance?
  14. What kind of royalties will I get?
  15. Can I read the contract before signing?
  16. Do I supply the ISBN for my book?
  17. Will my book be available on Amazon.com?
  18. Will my book be available in bookstores?
  19. Will my book be available for purchase outside of the USA?
  20. What happens if I decide to terminate my contract with you?

These are just a few of the many possible questions you could ask. So, if you are in a quandary over a publishing contract, or simply trying to determine your next-best-step, give me a call. I’ll make sure you get answers to all your questions . . . and help you make the decision process easier for you.

No sense rushing into a YUCKY situation.

Yesterday, I quit.

YESTERDAY, I QUIT . . .

I quit thinking small.

I quit thinking I need to do it all myself.

I quit discounting my talent and services.

I quit thinking I am supposed to know how to do everything.

TODAY, I  BELIEVE . . .

I believe I only attract those people who are excited to be working with me.

I believe I’ve “GOT THIS”!

I believe it’s OK to take breaks during the day and let my mind rest while NOT working.

I believe what I do contributes to the positive awakening of the world.

And tomorrow . . . I TRUST everything will work out just dandy.

Because, after all . . .

Lukewarm vs. Pretty Cool.

Certain things are not meant to be lukewarm.
Showers. Hot Chocolate. Eggs. Gravy. Relationships.
. . . and why not “dougwarm” or “anniewarm”?
Research shows the word “lukewarm” popped up around the 14th century as meaning “slightly warm”.  “Luke” is derived from “lew” or “lewk” or “leuk”, in Middle English, which meant “tepid” (slightly warm). This in turn came from the Old English adverb “hlēowe,” which means “warm or sunny.” Additionally, “hlēowe” came from the Proto-Germanic “hlēwaz,” meaning “warm.” Within two centuries, it also began having a figurative meaning, that of “lacking in enthusiasm.”
Here in the United States, lukewarm tends to connote “less than” warm . . . as in, were things to be ideal, what you have in front of you (hot chocolate, eggs, a first date) should be warmer. . . and warmer would be better, if not best.
At Davis Creative, we don’t do lukewarm.
Our clients reach out to us because they know they will never get “lukewarm” nor “almost.” We don’t do things “almost” . . . we do them right the first time, with enthusiasm, excitement and eagerness.
You deserve the best, you expect the best, you get the best. 
Now . . . if you are Dutch, and just happen to be living in the US . . . and just happen to be working with Davis Creative, feel free to use the word, “leuk” (pronounced LUKE). Research also shows that the Dutch currently use this word as in “cool” or “nice.”
So, if you like the services we have provided for you, please feel free to respond enthusiastically with “LEUK!”
We’ll think you are pretty-cool, too.

Your Golden Thread

If you are one of our clients, or have heard me speak, you’ve heard me talk about the Golden Thread. The ONE thing that matters most . . . your “WHY-you-do-what-you-do”. . . your reason for waking up in the morning with eagerness to help your tribe.
Simply stated, your brand is a woven tapestry and your Golden Thread is the one common denominator running throughout, creating a consistent, intentional brand message . . . it holds your brand together.
Take the DOVE Campaign for Real Beauty. 
GOLDEN THREAD: no matter your physical size, shape, ethnicity, etc., let your real beauty shine through. Dove believes their conversation “leads to brand love, and brand love leads to brand loyalty.”
 . . . and the Pillsbury Doughboy.
GOLDEN THREAD: Bringing families together. Since 1965, Poppin’ Fresh Doughboy (his full name) has become a global icon whose smile and cheery disposition transcend language and cultural barriers everywhere. Everyone wants to have dinner with the Doughboy (yes, his last name IS one word — I checked).
Then there’s OPRAH.
GOLDEN THREAD: Passion & Purpose. For Winfrey, being a brand is about being true to your intentions as well as being consistent in messaging. “Your true work on earth is what you’ve been called to do in some way or another,” said Winfrey. “Your fullest, highest expression comes, obviously, when you do what you love. Your business is an energetic force in the world.”
What is YOUR Golden Thread? What is your passion . . . your purpose . . . your intention? What do you do bigger, better, faster, smarter than anyone else?
If you’d like some help finding your Golden Thread . . . give me a call. I love helping people Acknowledge Their Passion, Align Their Purpose, and Attract More Profits.

We Brand, We Design, We Publish.
We Take Your Business to the Next Level.