Classes I Want To Take in 2020

The people who know me well know that I like learning new things. The only problem with that is my inconsistency to see things through completion, is a rare occurrence for me. It happens mostly with books and courses. Like there are so many things I want to do, it’s frustrating that I seem to have zero focus as I literally want to learn everything. That’s what happens when you call yourself a ‘Jack of all trades’ I guess.

I’ve been looking at and considering some classes and programs I want to take for 2020, so I’m saving them here.

Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner

Medical Intuition for Healing Workshop

Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing

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Not Posting Is Also A Strategy In Itself

VII of Pentacles from the Albano-Waite Tarot Deck

I noticed something while I was grieving (and I still am) the death of my friend Roxy:

I noticed that people found me online and either:

A) booked an in person healing session with me

B) bought something from my crystal shop

all while I WAS NOT actively promoting or posting for days or for even 2 weeks on Instagram. After my friend passed away, I just didn’t have the same energy for it anymore. I’m in limbo at the moment.

And yet, people still found me.

So what does that mean?

It means that planting seeds and waiting for them to grow still works. Most people don’t see the long game very much, they want instant results. And so they expect to be successful in 6 months or less.

Planting seeds is a metaphor for growing your online business or some kind of creative endeavor; you will be spending a lot of time cultivating it with really good content and products. You will spend time caring for it by putting your time and energy into it. But then at some point, you just have to release it and let it go…hang back for a bit and see if your seed planting worked.

And that’s exactly what I did, although it was unexpected.

I did not expect for people to be hitting me up for anything right now. I honestly thought that I would have more time to just sulk, be sad and grieve my friend who I’m missing so much right about now. But the days are moving fast, 2020 is right around the corner and the universe has sent people my way and so I must be in service to them. It must be my Aquarius Ascendant.

So while most digital marketers will tell you to post consistently and a lot, I will say from personal experience: it’s okay to go quiet sometimes, especially when you don’t feel like posting. Don’t force yourself and don’t feel bad that you haven’t posted.

If you planted a good seed, then people should be able to find you. You don’t have to constantly post on Instagram to sell to your followers.

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Life Hasn’t Been the SameπŸ’”

I had a very good friend pass away recently. She passed away on Sunday, October 20th but I didn’t find out until Tuesday, October 22nd. Needless to say I haven’t been myself.

Her name was Roxy B. Montoya. We had been friends since 2004 I believe, we met online on a graffiti art forum then became closer friends on MySpace. Then we met in real life in 2006 and we have been best friends ever since. I would go to Las Vegas where she lived to support her art shows, she would come out here with her family to go to Disneyland and also show her art here in LA with her husband Albert.

I miss her terribly. She was only 36 years old and so her death was quite unexpected.

I’m just writing this for myself. To express gratitude for having such an amazing friend. She was loved by everybody, people who have never met Roxy in real life call her their “favorite internet friend”.

I have collected a lot of her art, which I still have.

Here’s an IG story she did for my 2018 birthday & I reposted it:

Dude, I’m missing you a ton. Everyone is. You made everyone feel so special.πŸ’”

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An Easy Method for Cranking Out Ideas

If you work as a creative, here’s a quick way to come up with something without having to Google it:

word association.

I find that this is the easiest method to come up with a design or idea for your project. I also find that searching for things on Google for too long can be a total timewaster and actually hinders you from creating. The time spent searching and looking at images could’ve been spent just making the damn thing, at least for me.

So for example: you need to make artwork for a company that targets men. Let’s say it’s for an adult entertainment audience but since nudity or anything explicit is not allowed, it has to be more subtle. Clever, even.

My mind starts thinking of things that men could relate to: the colors blue, red, green, gray, yellow, black. I also start thinking about masculine animals – like a rhinoceros, a lion, or an alligator…just something powerful.

If it’s going to be used as marketing material, it has to invoke something that the audience desires – like power, strength, sexuality.

So I settled on creating a rhino for my project.

Step 01: always think of your target audience first.

This is the most important part of generating ideas – you must always think of who your audience is.

In plain terms: who are you making this for? Who is the customer?

In this case, it’s males who have sex on their mind and are looking for adult entertainment.

Step 02: think of a few words related to your target audience.

This is the part where you think of words – colors, shapes, cars, animals, brands; literally anything that makes you think of that audience.Β 

I was thinking of horny men, so I was thinking of an animal that was powerful but also had horns. Do you see the word association? It just so happens that a rhinoceros is a large, powerful and heavy animal with giant horns. You can see there’s a lot of symbolism there that men can relate to whether they’re aware of it or not.

Step 03: narrow it down to the strongest idea.

If you have a few ideas, you’ll have to narrow it down to one. You might even have to ask someone for their opinion. It would be perfect to ask someone who fits your target audience’s profile – a man in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

You don’t even have to tell them what it’s for, just show it to them to see what they think.

Step 04: execute your idea.

Now that you have your idea, you can purchase the perfect stock photo or illustration. But if you don’t have the money to buy it, you’ll have to recreate it. In my case, I had to re-create the rhino image in Adobe Illustrator.

Conclusion:

Word association is the easiest method to generate ideas for your marketing & advertising efforts. I’m sure there are other methods, but at the moment this is the one that I’d like to share with you.

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Why Don’t I Have a Real Portfolio?πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Heart Eyes, Dark Lipstick – Animated GIF by me

At some point, the purpose of this website was to show my portfolio; but that is no longer the case.

I have been working in the adult entertainment industry for almost 10 years now.

I have given up attempting to put up a portfolio for potential employers to see.

Why?

After years of trying and not getting responses (fact: most employers aren’t open to you having that kind of work history), I’ve decided to stop trying. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up. It just means that I’ve switched my focus from trying to leave where I am now to just creating stuff that makes me happy.

I’ve come to realize that I am where I’m supposed to be for the time being. But for a few years though – I was getting bored, frustrated, restless, dissatisfied. I really felt that it was time to go. I even got bit by the entrepreneur bug and I tried to leave my job with very little success. I was also offered a raise that I simply could not refuse.

So attempts to quit my job just wasn’t happening…I guess I was forcing it to happen.

I brainstormed for a bit as to what would make me happy. I even took a spiritually focused marketing course to explore these ideas. Then the idea came to mind: why don’t I sell crystals? You’ve been buying them so you obviously like them, so why not try selling them?

And it’s true, outside of my work life – I had been collecting crystals and stones, since 2012 (when I was at my other adult entertainment job). I had also taken an interest in learning tarot and developing my intuition and was taking classes as a hobby.

So to cure my boredom, I started up a crystal shop in April of 2017. But that just wasn’t enough. Since everybody else had the same idea, I had to figure out a way to stand out from everyone else, so I learned how to be a healer as well.

Since then, I basically created a whole new reality for myself while still working at this job. Going to another job was obviously not the answer, otherwise I would’ve gotten it already and that would’ve been my next path.

My path was for me to shift my perspective and to transform my life with what I already have.

So why don’t I have a professional design portfolio? I just don’t care to have one anymore.

Just know that a lot of the animated gifs I’ve posted here have been used at some point at work. I just tweaked them for my own use.

Like Gary Vee said: happiness is the goal.

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What To Do When Things Get Stale

At some point, everything we’ve built up or worked on will become stale, boring, repetitive. You won’t be excited about it anymore or your enthusiasm for it will come and go in waves.

“Invite chaos in when things get stagnant.” – Sam Ovens

How do you push yourself to keep on going, what keeps you motivated? It’s inevitable that our motivations tend to change over time and as we age. This is also different for everybody so all I can do is speak from my own experience.

I also think we are wired a certain way, based on our astrological makeup.

For me, I have a tendency to lose interest in things I want to learn…quickly. It’s like, I can’t stay still or commit to just getting really good at one thing – I HAVE to know a little bit of everything.

It also has to be creative. Because if it’s not, then I don’t want to keep on doing it.

For example: in astrology, I am a fire sign which indicates my natural disposition for being spontaneous, passionate, creative. Great at initiating things though not necessarily finishing them as fire tends to ‘burn out’.

I guess I am writing this to remind myself that it’s okay to let things go when they aren’t doing anything for you anymore, which also applies to relationships.

Creating and destroying is a natural act.

Animated gif by me, created in Photoshop.

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The Sacrifices of Owning Your Own Business

If you are serious about investing in yourself and owning your own business, then sacrifices have to be made. For me, here are some of the ones that I noticed needed to happen in order for my business to flourish:

  1. Eating out less
  2. Driving less, especially when gas prices are expensive.
  3. Not spending as much money on clothes, new music, going to the movies.
  4. Keeping it basic and only buying the necessities

So where does the money go?

  1. Pay down the credit card you used to purchase stuff for your business
  2. Use the money for advertising your business on Google Ads & Instagram
  3. Use it to keep on learning and acquire more knowledge.

But you just contradicted yourself. You’re not trying to spend yet here you are spending on advertising. Why?

Again, sacrifices have to be made. Do you choose to spend your money on food, gas and entertainment, or do you spend it on advertising for your business? Which one’s going to give you a return on investment? Think about that.

What I mean when I say ‘return on investment’ is a lot more simple than the definition used in the finance and business world. For this blog post, return on investment (ROI) means what you get in return for what you put into it.

So if you enjoyed the movie you watched, it was worth watching. Your return on investment (ROI) is entertainment.

If you spend money on ads and you got a client from it, then your ROI is your client; that or more people are starting to get familiar with your business.

A lot of people don’t advertise because they think marketing and advertising is gross.

Trust me when I say that I used to be in the same boat as these people – I really just wanted to be an artsy fartsy graphic designer – until I was forced to think about marketing and why the words and images I used for our advertising campaign is important. I learned over time that marketing & advertising is a necessity for anyone who owns a business -– big or small.

If nobody sees your offer, how is anyone going to know what you are offering?

If you don’t talk about your business or tell people, how is anyone going to know about it? This is what sold me on finally learning how to advertise on Google and Instagram. There are people out there right now searching for the exact thing that you are offering, so really – your marketing doesn’t have to be “gross”.

Start thinking long term

Those who want their business to flourish aren’t thinking of a get-rich-quick-scheme…or maybe they tried but it didn’t work out. They’re all thinking for the long term.

Life is short but it’s also quite long. Stay focused and be consistent with your offering – especially when no one’s paying attention yet. And then one day, people will finally start to remember you and take your offering.

Conclusion:

Business success isn’t an overnight thing, it takes sacrifice and thinking for the long term.

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Some Things I’ve Learned from Having a Small Business

I launched my online only crystal shop on April 22nd, 2017 – I wanted to share some things I’ve learned since then.

Treat all of it as an experiment so you won’t get disappointed, at least not as much.

It’s going to be up and down. Some months you will make consistent sales and you’ll feel happy and accomplished, other times not so much. You will go through a slump, you’ll feel disappointed with yourself and your efforts and often wonder: ‘WTF am I doing wrong’?

There could be a lot of factors as to why you’re not making sales right now; the market you’re in could be oversaturated. Or nobody is really buying right now either. You don’t have to know it all, but it helps to pay attention to the current economic climate and what people are spending their money on.

Lots of people are selling the same thing online too. You’ll have to think of ways to stand out somehow. Get creative, play and experiment with different ways you could tell people about your small business. Social media is great for that.

Focus on doing what you enjoy the most.

This may or may not be true for everybody but having a small business means you’ll probably be doing everything: taking products photos, listing products, packing, shipping, admin and accounting, graphics, email and social media marketing, web design, video editing. The list goes on and on and it can start to feel overwhelming.

Like, there’s SO MUCH to think about. What should you do, what should you focus on?

Some things are a drag, like accounting and taxes but are necessary. As long as you stay organized and keep good records of your sales & purchases, you can stay on top of it.

If you have the resources to do so, maybe pay someone to do the stuff you don’t like to do or if they don’t mind learning and doing things for free, maybe teach or mentor them?

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of doing it all, pick one thing you really like to do and do that, consistently.

For me, I enjoy taking photos of the crystals, then listing and writing about them. Even though I didn’t build the website from scratch, I still put a lot of effort into customizing it as well as creating & writing unique visual content and posting on Instagram. I did a lot of SEO on it too.

Don’t quit your day job.

There was a time when I thought being an entrepreneur would be a good fit for me, even though I have only worked fulltime my entire life and freelanced when I was in between jobs. I wanted to quit my job so bad during my first year, thinking that my small business selling crystals would sustain me and my family and that I would be able to just work from home.

I mean, a bitch can dream right? Well, turns out I was naive and completely wrong about it. I’m glad I didn’t quit or else I’d be screwed. How would I provide for my family, how do I pay my bills?

Some people will say that you don’t need to spend money to start your business, and while that may be true – you’re going to have to put A LOT of effort. If you spend money, things will go faster meaning your business will really pick up. That’s just my opinion on it, I could be wrong.

Here’s a personal example of what I mean: I spent money on Google Ads and sure enough, I was getting traffic to the website and I made some sales.

Not quitting your day job means you can put those expenses (like buying Google Ads) on a credit card and pay it off with your paycheck.

Whatever profit you make from your sales, usually goes back to buying more inventory to sell, for advertising and for other costs of running a small business. But you also have to pay taxes, so you need to put some money aside to pay your federal & state.

It might take years before your small business is finally sustainable so until then, keep on working.

Conclusion:

There’s probably a lot more to this, I just can’t think of it right now. It’s easy to get swept away and romanticize entrepreneurship or having a small business. The reality is far from it. I’m just writing this based on my experience so far with my own small business.

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Reasons To Blog In 2019

It’s true, everyone and their mom is on social media.πŸ™„

But if you’re anything like me, you’re still blogging in 2019. First of all – why and who cares? It’s not like I get a lot of traffic here, as everybody either hangs out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or divide their between all of them. Blogging is DEAD.πŸ’€

Let me just say that blogging is not dead, it’s just not as popular.

Reason to blog #1:

People still search for things, and blogs are usually the ones that pop up during a Google search.

For example: when I’m at work and I need help with something HTML, CSS, Javascript or PHP related, I get the bulk of my answers from searching for the exact issue (I literally have to search a few times if I’m not finding the answer I need) and then finding it on a blog, like this one: How to center things with style in CSS

or Easily Password Protect a Website or Subdirectory

Reason to blog #2:

Blogs help solve a problem someone is currently having; the writer usually writes a step by step solution to the same exact problem you searched for. That is so freakin helpful to me.

You can also write a blog that might be helpful to someone else down the line.

Reason to blog #3:

I personally like to practice my writing via blogging – it’s just not easy to type long blocks of text over your phone for a social media post. Blogging or writing gets the brain going and fleshes out ideas in your head.

Reason to blog #4:

If you have a few website properties – blogging will help boost your websites by bringing free traffic via Google search. Again, people still use search to either buy or look for a specific item or solve a problem or get more information so writing new content will help people find your website. It also helps to do some SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

How do I know blogging works? As some of you probably know, I have an online crystal shop that I’ve been experimenting with for almost 2 years now. I haven’t blogged consistently on there because day job, but the few blog posts I did write still get a lot of search engine traffic, like these two:

Why Are Crystals So Expensive?

Self Love Healing with Affirmations and Rose Quartz

I did keyword research on the above blog posts. Keyword research is finding the right keywords that people tend to search for often, then creating content that tailors to those exact keywords.

Conclusion:

Blogging in 2019 is still legit. You should create blog content if:

+ You have an online business
+ You have website properties and cannot afford to buy paid traffic always
+ You want to share some kind of specific knowledge that might be useful to someone else
+ You just love to write and have LOTS of things to say

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Some Tips for Selling Online

Let me start off by saying that I am not an expert at selling whatsoever, but for some reason I wanted to write this down as a blog post.

I will also reference crystals & stones here because that is what I sell and that is what I know and have experience with.

Tip 1: Take pictures in natural lighting

You don’t have to add ridiculous filters to make your product photos stand out. Keep it simple. I personally just take photos with my iPhone in natural or indirect sunlight.

Tip 2: Have an online location where customers can buy

People often tend to post pictures of what they’re selling, but as soon as someone wants to buy – they don’t have anything ready for the person inquiring.

If you don’t have an online location (Ebay, Etsy, your own website), then at the very least let people know you accept payments through PayPal.

Tip 3: Get to know the USPS, their box sizes and their shipping methods.


I have to admit, shipping was the most confusing thing for me to understand when I first started selling; I’m not very good with math & measurements so I left it to my husband to figure it out since he has more experience selling stuff online.

Eventually (about 2 years later), I finally got the hang of it and it basically goes like this:

+ Anything over 13 oz will be sent Priority Mail
+ Anything under 13 oz can be sent First Class.

Of course you can read up on the other types of shipping but these are the most commonly used ones.

Which leads me to Tip 4: Get a scale

In the mineral world, price is often determined by the weight of the crystal or stone. When you’re sending out packages, it’s important to know the weight and dimensions of the package you’re sending out so postage can be calculated accordingly.

So get yourself a scale, the one we have is digital.

Conclusion

There’s probably more things I could add to this, but I can’t think of them at the moment. I will keep adding once I remember.

If you want to get serious about making money online or having passive income, then a system needs to be in place in order to receive payments as well as to mail out products.

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