It starts with You!

We are a month into a new year, and many of the blog topics, *mine included
 Are yammering at you to set goals, whether or not you have any interest in doing so, or perhaps you are stuck with where to begin?

When we get stuck, its time to start at square one.  Start with you.

To thine own self be true:
To share a personal experience, these words didn’t really ring true for me until I gave myself the gift of living alone.  At that time I wasn’t happy about a relationship ending, and not feeling good about myself. As I was  packing up a box in my home, I knew I also had some personal housecleaning that needed to be done.
  I got a dry erase board and hung it in my kitchen and started writing out a plan to change how I was looking at things.  You can use a pad of paper, which works just fine, and is much easier to carry around.

Mind your Ps & R’s?

Growing up you may have heard the saying “mind your P’s & Q’s”- It’s an old term that originated in the pubs.  Mead and Ale were served in pint & quart containers, hence the P- for Pint & Q- for quart.
I have two P’s and two R’s that in today’s world are important for each of us to be mindful of.

When your making a commitment with yourself there is no middleman, no special equipment or tools needed, only the simplicity of being honest with yourself. (it’s ok, no one is watching). Allow yourself to check you P’s and R’s

On your pad of paper list these categories as column headers:

Potential   Pitfalls      Reflection      React

Under each column, you’re going to look back over your year and list as many things that resonates with you. I have included some idea’s and thoughts for you to consider when moving through each category:

Potential:  Each of us has limitless potential, what are your strengths /gifts and are you utilizing them to be your best ability?
-Good at organizing?
-Love to talk to people?
-Likes to drive, plan routes
-Incredible cook?
-Good at photography?
 Ultimately where do you want your skills to lead you?

Pitfalls: What are the problem areas for you?
 Are you bad with money?
Are you a terrible organizer?
To you have a short temper?
 Trouble communicating well with your colleges and loved ones
Are there area’s where you need some additional training, or development?

Reflection: Think back over the past year, list major events and  individuals that you met.  You will be surprised when you scroll through your iPhone or Android iCalendar, you’ll come up with names, and recall situations where you met someone significant or attended a event

React- How did you respond to individuals and react to situations this past year? Did you burn any bridges? Or did your network  grow?  You cannot be responsible for the outcome of all situations; however, you are always responsible for how you react going forward to help facilitate communication.  And where it’s appropriate, accept responsibility and make amends when you messed up!

I usually walk around with the written list with my 2R’s & 2P’s that I add things to as I think about them. At the end of the week, I have captured as much information as I can shake loose.

  It feels like trimming back the garden, the more honest with yourself you are, clearing away the unwanted trimmings and undergrowth the better growing season you have to look forward to.

Share a success you have had with your personal “gardening” in the comment section below

Tamra Engle is a independent  business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your creative project or business. You can read more about her and join her mailing list at 

Holiday fun time saving apps!

During the Thanksgiving holiday celebrations, I noticed between the huge meals, the entertainment revolved around  playing with a 9 week old puppy, and during the puppies naps having several generations of family, poking away at their smart phones sharing their favorite apps with one another.
*For the record the family falls pretty squarely into the Apple smart phone market, most of these apps are available for Android users.

Here is a list of some favorite holiday and time saving apps for creative people like you!

Fun Holiday apps: 

Amazon Mobile  (Is your employer blocking access to shopping sites at work?  You can buy pretty much anything at, and now the Amazon Mobile app (Free) makes it easy to shop right from your iPhone.

GoodGuide While most iPod shopping apps are designed to help you save money, the GoodGuide app (Free) has a unique goal -- to help you identify products that are good for you and the environment.

Good Food Festive Recipes:  Over 160 foolproof collection of festive feasting options to catapult you into a New Year!

Grocery IQ (Free)
 includes all the features you would expect in a powerful grocery app, including a barcode scanner, list sharing, and integrated coupons. If you are like me and buy the same things every week, the favorites list will help you save time. You can also edit your list online and it will update automatically on the app.

 (US$1.99)  We could use some extra holiday spirit!
 This app includes 20 “Grinchmas” cards that you can personalize with your own photos -- and who doesn't want a picture of themselves dressed as the Grinch? The cards can be emailed to friends or saved to the app’s photo library.

Bonus  Recommendations:

Dragon Dictation: Don't worry if you are not already hooked up with the hot new Siri, iPhone 4s,  I think Dragon’s voice recognition works better than my typing and auto "correction" of the iPhone.

This was awesome for a  global family reunion conference call, we had family from as far away as Germany!  Sure, it’s great to hear a voice, But it’s even better to see the face that goes with it.    Bonus! No cell minutes local or international used! 

What are some of your favorite holiday or time saving apps?  Post them in the comment section below!

Need help creating a marketing plan or simply have questions on managing your creative business strategy?

Tamra Engle is a independent  business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent creative business, You can read more about her at  you can email her at

Growing your fanbase: using new technology:

How would you like to be in the next arcade fire video? 
Among many of its features HTML 5 allows you to include new multimedia (audio / visual) interface elements,  web storage, timed media playback

Google has partnered with Canadian Rockers Arcade Fire to produce it’s first HTML 5 based music video., which  in this example pull fans (or the homes they grew up in) right into the  Wilderness Downtown film. 

Directed & written  by Chris Milk the video designed around the bands song “We used to wait”   All YOU need is a HTML 5 compatible browser  like Google’s Chrome or Safari-   Users of Android and iOS moblle OS’s may or may not be able to currently view this.   (this is a huge improvement over the earlier FLASH technology.
Give  a spin,  share your thoughts in my comment section on how you see HTML 5 being used going forward in the Arts and Entertaiment world.

Look around at the technology that is new and exciting, how can you use it to engage YOUR fans?
If you need help,  let's talk!


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