My Biggest Secret to Success [+ How to Avoid Getting STUCK]

I know many of you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck or just creatively zapped. I GET IT! If you feel it, chances are I’ve felt it, too and I know it’s a constant effort to keep from getting sucked under.

STUCK is a terrible feeling. It usually means we just don’t know where to start or don’t know what to do next.

As creatives, we often feel like we need to be “on” all of the time, but the fact is that the juices just run dry sometimes. In my experience, putting pressure on myself because I have to be creative just makes it worse.

When I’m just feeling stuck for a short amount of time (say an afternoon), I allow for it and I try to nourish my creativity to get things going again.

Other times STUCK can last longer than an afternoon and really start to set in. Weeks or even months (years?) can go by and that feeling of being stagnant starts to hurt.

Many of you have heard my story, but if you’ve never heard the very beginning of it, let me share it with you:

After graduating from business school, I fell in love with fabric design. It’s what I wanted to do above anything else, but it felt BIG and SCARY. I didn’t know how to design and didn’t have a clue on how to get started.

But I had decided that this was my dream. Period.

About 6 months went by, and though I had daydreamed about becoming a designer, I had actually done nothing in order to make this big dream come true.

I believe, this is where so many creatives get STUCK.

I didn’t know where or how to start, and the end goal was so big that the whole thing was overwhelming. It would be much easier to just give up.

*Don’t miss this!

That’s when it dawned on me: I should start doing just one thing every single day that takes me in the right direction towards accomplishing my dream. Simple enough, right?!

So this is what I did. Over the course of the following 18 months, I did something every single day to make my dream come true.

At the beginning, it was doing a lot of research and for nearly a year, it was learning Adobe Illustrator. Over the months, tasks involved writing emails, working on patterns, sketching, building a portfolio, contacting companies, making a phone call, etc etc. Some days I spent 15 minutes on my dream, other days I spent 8 or 9 hours working on it.

Most days, I didn’t know what I would be doing in two weeks, but one thing led to another and the answer always came in time for me to do the next thing.

After about 2 years, I signed my first contract to become a fabric designer. I cried and was filled with so much awe and joy! For the first time in my whole life, I had accomplished something HUGE.

What did I learn through this experience? That it’s important to set BIG goals. You know, the ones that are scary, make you feel vulnerable (or just plain silly) to say out loud because you think they may never come true.

But the most important thing is to not let it overwhelm you. Rather, let it inspire your small steps.

You need to know, when you’re on step 2 or 3, you won’t know what step 8 or 9 (or 8,321) looks like, but you’ll know just in time to make it happen.

Everything in life is possible if you’re willing to put in the work.

Dreams come true by way of knowledge.

Still with me?

The best news is this:

You don’t have to go through what I went through. This exact story is what made me so passionate about sharing what I’ve learned and making it approachable for anyone else who wants to follow this dream.

You’ve heard the best way to learn a new language is by immersing yourself in it fully. In the culture, the language and the education. It just so happens, it’s also the best way to learn your art. You can talk about your big goal all day long (I did for 6 months before I got started), but without completely immersing yourself in the education, the community and the industry, not much is going to happen.

Allow me to save you years (yes, YEARS) of hard work. Let me teach you how to make artwork that’s true to your own signature style, how to create your irresistible package and start making a living as a licensing artist.

Come join the Immersion Course.

Enrollment closes Tuesday, February 25th at 11:50PM PST. Because of the length and intensity of this course, I’m only able to offer it once a year. Once enrollment closes, it’s closed for another year.

You must have courage. This may feel scary, overwhelming, uncomfortable or nerve wracking. But if you can just find a few seconds of courage your life could be changed forever. (Mine was!)


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  • Great article. I work in a different field (software) but the same rings true. You must immerse yourself in all the things in order to not only learn it but also to be successful at it. Great work!

  • I always have a lot of dreams; start a charter school, sewing leather handbags on Etsy, move to North Carolina and be outdoors more!… but I never get around to accomplishing them. I give up before I really get started and make excuses as to why they are too hard. Maybe I just have to decide on one thing that I love and work on that! In the meantime I’ll sew a dress with your swan fabric for my almost 3 year old little girl. Thanks for your inspiration. It brightens my day and gives me hope.