The Open Door Experiment

Gratitude is the open door to abundance
Gratitude Print by Valentina Design

You know the saying “when one door closes, another one opens”? What happens when it works backwards? When a door opens and closes another? It doesn’t sound nearly as promising or optimistic. But that’s precisely what’s happened to me.

Last Thursday, I made it official that I was closing my door to the Better Blogger Network. Some of you may not know it exists, or even that I was the one that founded it – but it will no longer be a part of my life’s chapters come the end of March. (and if you’re interested in taking it over, please head over to the blog to get more information!)

A long story made short: The Gnarly Whale has consumed me.

And now for the really lengthy version of the story that’s been weighing on me for weeks.

When that shop launched, I thought little of it other than I did plan ahead and create a loose business plan along with a pretty lengthy break even analysis. Outside of that, it was merely a hobby. Someone I’d always wanted to do, something I hoped to prove I could do, and something I didn’t dream of growing at the pace that it grew.

The sales were slow at first and reminded me why I felt the way I did. And then something happened. What, I’m not exactly sure, but somewhere along the speedbumps we had with packaging and the struggle to master product creation in bulk, the shop transformed. Sales picked up, opportunities were knocking on our virtual doors, it was proving to be a solid source of regular income and dreams I nervously reached for became my reality. Suddenly I had a need for the shop to succeed beyond a hobby. Beyond something I did in my spare time. I had a need to grow it and challenge myself while doing so. And my time, my heart, and nearly all of my life – and Nathan’s life – somehow became incredibly intertwined with the rapidly growing business.

Spare time became extinct. My dreams were filled with aspirations for the business when I slept. The need for order management and organization became a must-have instead of a nice-to-have. Lunch was spent talking shop. Dinner was spent talking more shop. TV watching only happened when I was filling orders or checking supplies.

And instead of leading me down the scary slope of burnout, it reminded me to do better. To be better. To take care of myself so I can take care of a flourishing business. To take the time I needed to be me so I could put the best parts of me into the business. To live a healthy, happy, and carefree (when possible) life so the business continued to grow. To let go of things that no longer fit in my life for one reason or another so I could focus on my top priorities and at least temporarily close some doors.

And that’s just what I did. I stopped doing graphic design outside of personal things. I stopped consulting. And now I’m no longer trying to manage more than I can handle by passing the torch to someone else.

While this moment is incredibly bittersweet for me, I’m excited to see where this takes me. I’m excited to see where I can take the business now that it’s become my main priority. I’m excited to really spend the time, digging into what I already do and finding ways to do it better, or new things I can be doing, or bringing back some things that got left behind when I got overloaded. I’m excited to work on growing myself, and our business, instead of scraping by and only doing what I can to maintain it.

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If you entered last week’s giveaways, the winners have been chosen!

The Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner is: Dus Katrina!

The February Giveaway Winner is: Breanna Hohenstein!

Congratulations ladies! Please email me within the next 48 hours to claim your prizes :)

Better Blogger Network Launch!

For those of you that have been waiting for the launch day of the Better Blogger Network, it’s here! In case you’re new here or just want a refresher on what we have to offer, you can catch up on exactly what the Better Blogger Network is about here.

But today is the day that the Better Blogger Network opens it’s virtual doors to everyone. We’ve had an amazing administrative team helping us get the community ready for you over the past couple of weeks and we’re SO excited to finally share it with you.

It’s 100% free to join, network, get/give advice, and be apart of the BBN. In the future, we will be adding paid portions to the site and have plans to branch out into an online conference and eventually an in-person conference.

There is a TON to participate in already, but I think the community speaks for itself for the most part so I’ll just go ahead and direct you where to go so you can join in the fun :)

You can find me on there by visiting my page.

Or go ahead and sign up :

Profiles should be approved in less than 24 hours

Follow us around the web, too : Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Better Blogger Network Launch Date: May 15

Remember a while ago when I announced a new project called the Better Blogger Network?

A lot has happen since then and I’m even more excited about the project. :)

The interest in joining the BBN team was massive – way more than I ever anticipated honestly! Because of this, we were unable to accept everyone who applied, but we truly did have a great list of candidates to choose from. There may be more positions open in the future, depending on the growth and needs of the community so be sure to keep your eyes on the BBN blog when it launches for those opportunities. :)

We’ve also sent the launch date and it’s coming up quick – we’ll be live on Tuesday May 15th! All you’ll have to do is sign-up and then you’ll be able to access the website and start networking right away. You’ll have your own profile  along with access to a chat room, forums and a blog with tips + tricks for blogging. And that’s just where we will be starting at – we have big plans for the future, too!

We’ll be starting to spread the word through our social media sites today so be sure to start following us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with our updates for the community.

See you on May 15!


A New Project: The Better Blogger Network

I mentioned it on Twitter and Facebook last week that I’d be announcing a new project that will be launching by the end of April. I am SO excited about this as it’s something I’ve wanted to do since the summer of last year.

So I am super excited to announce the . . .

Who is it for?

The Better Blogger Network is a networking community for bloggers with forums, profiles, a chat, and the ability to easily connect with new bloggers from around the world. You should have a want to learn to improve your blog and help others do the same. We’re striving to make sure everyone that joins BBN feels welcome in the blog world, no matter how big or small their blog is.

How much is it?

100% free! As it grows, we’ll be adding in paid options such as blogging tips, marketing tricks, e-courses, and an online conference with some of your favorite bloggers.

How can I get involved?

Other than signing up when it launches (towards the end of April), we’re looking for some volunteers to help us run the site! Below is a list of people we’re looking to bring on our team before it launches:

  • Bloggers : Share tutorials, marketing or blogging ideas/tips, networking ideas, etc. on our site’s blog
  • Forum moderators : Help keep them active, clean, and a fun time for everyone!
  • Welcome Committee : Join us in reaching out to new members and bloggers to spread the love
  • And most likely some other miscellaneous tasks.

Excited about being a part of our team when we launch? Email me and let me know what you’re interested in doing. I’ll be sending out information to everyone that emails me within a week or so!

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I can’t wait for this to launch! Once we know the exact start date, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, spread the word! We could use all the help we can get. :)