Tag Archives | do what you love

Do What You Love: Business Soul Sessions

Business Soul Sessions graphic

Until a few years ago, I thought my job was to be an artist. But then I learned I was really an evangelist, meant to inspire with paint instead of words. Art is my tool of communication, the language I use to inspire others to find joy through faith, family and service.

This revelation came, in part, from an online class I happened upon at a point of burn-out in my own career. What I learned about myself, my purpose and how I should proceed with it all was so valuable to me, I want to share the opportunity with you!

If you are a fellow creative entrepreneur (in any discipline, not just art!), and feeling burnt out or in a rut, I urge you to take a look at “The Business Soul Sessions,” as well as some of the other offerings at “Do What You Love for Life” for inspiration. Taught by former social worker-turned-licensed artist Kelly Rae Roberts and “DWYL” producer Beth Kempton, The Business Soul Sessions class gave me the instruction and insight to really delve deep into what my purpose is, and how I can use that to create a life and business I love that fulfills that purpose and betters the world. I had no idea what to expect, it cost a little bit of money, but it felt right. So I signed up. I’m so glad I did!

Through a number of weeks, the class will guide you and other students from all over the world on a self-guided journey to consider your purpose, the people you are meant to serve, what your product(s) will be, and how you will pull it off. The class is not just for artists…it’s for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit who wants to create a sustainable business they can be proud of. And you can do the whole thing from your computer in your pajamas!

Sound interesting? Take a moment to check it out. The next session of The Business Soul Sessions course begins May 11, 2015. I have an affiliate link here, and I would be very grateful that if you do choose to sign up, you do so through my link (yes, I make a little money back when you do).

As theologian Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Is this your time to come alive?


Clear Vision: It’s all about the editing.

Jen Norton's vision board

My vision for my art business, in pictures!

I had a mini-aha-moment today as I was putting together a vision board for my business as part of my Hello Soul, Hello Business e-class. I’ve believed in the importance of making a vision board for some time. I’ve seen other artists make them. I’ve heard about them being used for therapy. And I even made my husband make one a few years ago as he was struggling to reach some of his personal goals. But I never sat down and made my own. I guess I just figured I make pictures all the time, how different could it be? I know where I want to go, right? But a girl can change her mind.

Today’s board creation project is falling after four days of pondering and writing about aspects of our businesses like their values, characteristics and soul missions. Through guided exercises, we have been digging deeper into our own truths all week, seeking to define what we have been put on this planet to do. So today I sat down with my scissors and old magazines to craft my board. Thought it was just a fun way to wrap up the week. That’s when I realized it’s not just about making a concrete form of your vision or having it posted as future reminder, although those are important parts. The magic is in the editing.

As I went through each magazine, words and pictures passed before me that held meaning and relevance. With each temptation, I had to make a decision: Is it REALLY relevant to my vision? Or is it just something that fascinates me, but that could distract me from my chosen path? And then came the time to glue it all down. My board was only so big. My collection of stuff was about three times bigger. More editing! More clarity to my vision!

I don’t know why this is such a revelation, really. My best paintings have been edited and “fixed” to to my liking before I let them leave the house. Each of my blog entries can take me several hours of editing. In both processes, there is a lot of thinking time along with actual action. I absolutely believe half the worlds problems would be solved if people would just think before they speak. Why would my vision be any different? It isn’t…I’ve just been keeping it on the back burner for too long, never quite finishing the final revisions. But here I am in the here and now, glueing down a clear vision of my vision, and I love everything included on my board. I only allowed one tiny distraction: a little picture of a dog with the words “My therapist has a wet nose”. If only my dog had thumbs…I could use an assistant!

Traveling the world for inspiration, with my slippers on.


Hello Soul. Hello Business.I love painting food and recipes, but the driving force beneath my current work is the desire to reach out and encourage families to spend more time together around the table. I have lots of ideas about how I might do this…Too many ideas to keep straight!

One of my biggest challenges is to stay focused and not get overwhelmed. Sometimes breaking down my big ideas into achievable and measurable tasks is as elusive as finding a paint brush bristle on my messy art table. It can all get too big and before I know it, I find myself spinning my wheels in too many directions, not making any progress at all. Or even worse, not making any art. So I’ve made an early New Year’s resolution. I’m going to get help!

Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck, I go out and see what other artists I admire are up to. One of those artists is Kelly Rae Roberts from Portland OR. I first saw her work as a promo piece for our local KPFA Craft Fair years ago. There was something about the intended messiness and the beautiful expression of repose on the figure’s face that spoke to me, so I bookmarked her site. Since then she has built her career to an impressive level and her warm and welcoming brand delights people across the world, including me! She offers books, e-books* and e-classes to encourage and instruct other artists. I’m so impressed by her work, I’ve decided to join her new 9-week online class in January, co-taught with entrepreneur Beth Nicholls from the UK. It’s called Hello Soul, Hello Business and it’s all about fearlessly creating a sustainable business out of your passions (like making art!). It’s been a while since I took time for a workshop, so I’m really looking forward to this one…especially because I can attend in my slippers! Any of my artist friends want to join me? Check it out

Hello Art… Hello Soul… Hello Business… Here I come!

**I like Kelly Rae’s content so much, I’ve put an affiliate badge on my site to her e-book Flying Lessons. If you click through and purchase anything, I do get a commission. Paid or not, I still think she’s pretty cool.