JEAN + CHAMBRAY + LEOPARD

I know it's geeky, but I love getting back from the holiday break to hit the ground running. The idea of a new year comes with fresh ideas, new energy, and GUTS to do things you didn't do last year!!! This week my team and I will be headed to Seattle Washington for our first GO LIVE Workshop of 2015. I am excited to meet all the attendees (their homework is looking FAB), but there are a few added unknowns that come with a traveling workshop. A few of the details are making me a little stressed... But in this case I guess stress is good because that means I'm doing things out of my comfort zone.

Here is a favorite outfit as of lately! I LOVE trying to figure out how to wear my summer clothes in winter! These photos were taken by the fabulous Janelle Marina! When she saw my outfit she asked "So what's the rule with the double jean thing? Do they have to be the same color? or different colors?" My answer: "I don't know. In my personal opinion there are no rules when it comes to chambray and jean." So, maybe you can tell me. Are there any rules?

PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina
PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina
PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina
PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina

If you're curious about any of the items I'm wearing, check out the brands below.

JEAN JACKET: American Eagle   |   LEOPARD SHORTS: Urban Outfitters   |   BOOTS: Forever 21   |   BRACELET: 31 Bits, JCrew, MadeWell   |   KEY RING: The Giving Keys   |   LIPSTICK: Nars. Color: Schiap

PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina
PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina
PROMISE TANGEMAN   |   photo by Janelle Marina

PHOTOS BY JANELLE MARINA


2014 IN REVIEW & GOAL PLANNING

Well, 2015 feels good so far. I always look forward to the holidays; not only for the festivities and rich quality time with family, but also for the time to reflect, soul search, evaluate, plan, and strategize. Every year around this time I block out some space to look at a few components. These components really help me and my team think clearly about the direction we want to go, who we want to work with, and the people that we want to become, both personally and professionally. Below are some categories for how I evaluate and plan for the future of our company. 

1 // IDENTIFY & CELEBRATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

First things first. Celebrate the accomplishments. As busy people we can get caught up with the next thing on our to-do list and we don’t stop to celebrate all that we have accomplished. So, my team and I make an intentional effort to celebrate by literally toasting to our accomplishments. Ash, our creative manager puts together our yearly stats and we look at what we’ve spent our time on, what we launched, and what our highlights were. Acknowledging hard work is good for the soul. Below are some things that we celebrated. 

IN 2014 WE: designed 2 website theme collections // Coached, designed, and helped 428 businesses through our services and resources // Designed and launched Jasmine star website and the new A Beautiful Mess website // Created an E-course for A Beautiful Mess // Had 3 Go Live workshops in the LA area // Spoke at Yellow Conference and Circles Conference // Planned and hosted Designer VACA conference // Rebranded the business from Sitehouse to Go Live HQ // Designed and launched our first ever Wordpress blog theme collection // Created new resources for the store (mock ups + launch kit) // Added designer (Brooke) to our team // Relaunched our Brand Restyle service // Designed and launched Melissa Jill, Jana Williams, Jaime Delaine, Yasmin Sarai, April Smith, and 6 others through our brand new TKO service // and had our first 3 day online live stream event. 

2 // IDENTIFY WEAK POINTS

Next, I spent time evaluating our the weak points; what didn’t work last year, what we need to improve on, and what is no longer worth our time. There are things in the business that we just don’t want to continue doing, and what’s a good thing. We are constantly refining, pruning, honing, and moving forward. As a team, we send around personal evaluation worksheets so we can learn how to be better team members for each other so we can work together to the best of our abilities. One of my absolute favorite parts of this company is the incredible team that I get to work with everyday. Having a fun team that works GREAT together makes work not feel like, well... work. Our team chemistry is AWESOME and something I never want to loose. 

Some of our weak points in 2014 included: Time management (not understanding exactly how long specific tasks would take) // Introducing to many new things at one time // Exclusively working with only one website building platform // Holding workshops in only one location (CA // Working late hours and on the weekends // Accepting a few projects that were the wrong type of clientele for our business // Inconsistent marketing strategy // I did not respond promptly to emails on occasions // I gave too many discounts on products and services // and there were several loose ends in our processes, etc. From these weak points we learn, refine, and move forward for 2015.

3 // REASSESSING THE MISSION AND VISION

After reviewing the weak points it’s hard to know what to improve, what to ditch, and what to re-invent… Because let’s be real, we can’t do everything. So, I spent a bit of time regrouping. I re-assess our vision, mission, desires, and goals and list out all the different components that make up our company. Some of the main components include: communication, team, internal systems, external processes, products, services, workshops, Designer VACA, and marketing. Because I’m a big picture person, I like to know all the moving parts so I can prioritize what’s most important to yield the best results in order to accomplish our mission. So, if a particular weak point (if improved) does not align with our mission and vision… we ditch it! And visa versa. For example, our Go Live workshop is all about helping our attendees build, design, and launch their website in two days. And part of the mission for our company as a whole is helping small businesses knock out a knock-out website. So taking the time to revamp the workshop will be “on brand” and TOTALLY worth our time in 2015 because they have the same end goal.

4 // BRAINSTORM PROPOSALS

I love this part. We have the opportunity to tweak and refine a few things in our company workflow for 2015. So, we spent some time focusing our plans and putting together a plan of action for our goals. An example of some of these items included: Taking our workshops on the road (Seattle, Nashville, maybe Hawaii, etc.) // Expanding the platforms we build our websites on to Showit, Wordpress, and Squarespace // Refining our processes // Hiring a 5th designer // Creating more online resources to help creative small business launch their brands and websites // Blog and create helpful content regularly // Livestream another event // Reconfigure our website wording, and a bunch more.

I am completely thankful for the highs and the lows of this past year. I am very grateful and thankful to God for everything I've learned through the good things and the not so good things. I love my amazing design team: Liz, Meg, and Brooke; And I’m oh so thankful for our creative manager Ash, who has been with us for almost 2 years now. I’m excited for what 2015 has in store for everyone.


DEALING WITH COMPETITION LIKE A PRO 2/5

Today is part two in this five part conversation around the idea of handling competition like a pro. In PART ONE I talked about the basics of what competition is, and how some creatives feel in competitive industries. It's important to understand and realize that you are needed and that there is room for you at the table. You can read part one HERE.  Today, part two is ACT ON IT! IMPROVE! AND GET BETTER!

In the early few months of my career there was someone that decided to do exactly what I was doing in the same network that I was involved in. This talented individual was older with years and years of experience in the same field as me in a different network. So naturally when they 'crossed over' I thought I was done for. When I was processing some of what was going on with a friend of mine she responded by saying, "Competition will ONLY make you better." I rolled my eyes at her response and thanked her for trying to make me feel better. Her comment seemed like one of those fakey positive sayings you find on Pinterest to make you feel good in the moment.

But as time went on I realized how true it actually was. Competition will ONLY make you better, if you act on it and improve! Having a bit of competition put some fire under my butt. In that season, it put the pressure on me to work harder, smarter, faster, try new things and become more innovative.

Before my competitor entered the picture, I was just coasting along. I had no urgency for anything, and no drive to complete a new idea. Why did I need to? I was just fine doing what I was doing and at the pace I wanted to do it. I had no measurement for how my brand was doing in the grand scheme of things or even how good my design skills were.

But with a new competitor in town, I was analyzing how my designs could be better, stronger, and more dynamic. I was hustling. That year I surprised myself and I did things that I would have never thought to do. I produced an extra design collection and I also released my first limited edition design that sold out in one day. We shot a video campaign to market the limited edition design and it all turned out really cool. 

That year yielded some of my favorite work and concepts to date, and it was all because I wanted to improve and get better because I now had a competitor. In general, I got a lot better at my craft, became savvier with my business, and really surprised myself. Competition really does make you better. Truly better. My suggestion is to take the fact that you have competition and spin it in a positive way that will push your brand and business forward. Instead of letting competition and comparison get you down, let it take you to the next level. 

Here are a few things to think about: What area in your craft/business can you improve on? And what would it take to improve that? Is there a new and more innovative way to get the word out about what you do? Get creative and the competition will only make you better! Stay tuned for part 3.