Amber Housley

Inspired Retreat 2016 Registration Opens Today!

Inspired Retreat

Registration for our May 1-4, 2016 Inspired Retreat experience opens in just a few hours at 1pm CT today! HOORAY!

The first 6 registrations will also receive a bonus gift of (the sold out and very sought after) 2016 Emily Ley Simplified Planner pineapple edition! This gift will be a great way to keep you, your business, and family on track long before we meet in May. Our attendees in October were gifted these fabulous planners by our sponsor, supporter, and former Inspired speaker, Emily Ley!

 

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A heads up: we’ve made a few updates to the Inspired Retreat site in the last few days. See our video below that dives a little deeper into the Inspired experience. 314 Productions did an amazing job producing this at last Fall’s Inspired Retreat.

Inspired Retreat – Experience from Amber Housley on Vimeo.

We’ve also added 20 love notes and testimonials from past attendees. I’ve included some of these testimonials below for you that help answer our most common questions received from those considering on attending Inspired Retreat!

 

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I’m just starting out on my business journey, is Inspired a good fit for me?

You won’t regret it no matter where you are in your business journey. I am in the very beginning and I found this retreat to be filled with great materials that I can use now and years down the road. The speakers were all well prepared and helpful to share any information that the attendees were curious about. It was helpful to me to just learn about people’s personal journeys and to learn about tools / resources other creatives are using to make their creative lives stand out and work. Amber was an amazing host and so gracious and loving the entire trip! – Amanda Shaver

I’ve been in business for a few years, is Inspired a good fit for me?

I came to Inspired concerned that I might no longer love my chosen career. However, just being around other creative women quickly reignited my enthusiasm. I came away with a renewed passion for my creative business and concrete ideas to apply right away. Inspired gave me the much-needed chance to focus on the core values of my business and reshape my vision to once-again match those values. I also loved the chance to get away for a few days, to make new friends, and to feel supported in my goals as a creative woman. Amber’s attention to detail was wonderful; she made every moment feel like a special event. It was a wonderful 3 day event – I only wish it could have lasted longer. – Catherine McEaddy Holmes

This is a big investment for me. Is it worth it?

Attending the Inspired Retreat was one of the BEST things I have done for myself and my business. Amber and the team of speakers create an environment that is warm, open, inclusive and makes you feel willing to be yourself, share your successes as much as your failures. It is a learning experience like no other and has me energized to implement positive change to help me grow, make more money and save time! You deserve this time, you will appreciate this time, you will be changed for the better. The investment you make is beyond worth it and your return on that investment is priceless. – Katie Maloney

There are a lot of learning options available to me. How is Inspired different?

Inspired Retreat is like no other professional retreat/conference you’ve ever experienced. The content doesn’t just apply to how to run a successful creative business, but it gives you the tools and suggestions on how to do it without losing sight of what’s really important in life. You won’t regret a penny spent on this amazing experience, no detail is left untouched. – Heather Kirks

Will I leave Inspired with tangible knowledge and content that I can implement?

This retreat was such a wonderful gift to myself – both personally and professionally. I am now part of a tribe of women ready to support one another, cheer each other’s success, be a sounding board for new business ideas and lift us up when we are feeling alone. I came away with an entire notebook (and brain) filled with ACTUAL concrete steps I can take to build my business – and I have already started implementing them! I will be back! – Beth Kingston

I won’t know anyone else. Are the other women and speakers friendly?

Amber has created something truly special. The name says it all; Inspired is exactly how I felt after this retreat. Being surrounded by such knowledgeable, creative women in this intimate setting leaves you feeling ready to take your business to new heights. Everyone is eager to help and build a sincere community. I highly recommend attending Inspired. You won’t regret it! – Valerie McKeehan

Read more Love Notes from past attendees here.

See you here at 1pm CT for the speaker unveiling and registration opening.

I can’t wait to see your smiling face this May in Tennessee!

Announcing my new online class: Marketing for Creatives

Since I joined the Studio Calico team, I’ve been excited to have the opportunity to share some of my passions on a larger scale. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to lead a class on marketing for the creative entrepreneur that the Studio Calico community had been asking for awhile.

This class packs in a ton of content in our four weeks together! I hope you’ll join us if you ready to take your creative blog and online presence to the next level!

Whether you’re a beginner or have been at it for a while, I will help you go from hobbyist to professional with the all-new online class Marketing for Creatives. You’ll learn from myself and a few of my experienced creative friends how to create a marketing strategy for your online presence, generate relevant content that keeps readers coming back, promote your brand using major social media outlets and more!

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What comes with this class:

  • Four weeks of lessons and videos sharing some of my expert advice from my 10 years of blogging and professional marketing experience
  • Features from some of my friends who are bloggers and creatives who will let you in on their secrets and give you tips and resources to either get started or take your online presence to a new level
  • Weekly assignments and action plans to get it done
  • Live group Q & A chat
  • Access to a class message board and gallery where you can share and learn with me and fellow students
  • Printable blog planner sheets from Hello Forever, including a content calendar, post planner and a monthly check-in sheet to help you track your stats and set goals (preview coming soon!)

 

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Marketing for Creatives is enrolling now through early September. Class is officially underway on September 1st! I hope you’ll join me!

Class contributors include: Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat StudioAshlee ProffitElise Blaha Cripe of Enjoy It & Get to Work BookJessica Bishop of The Budget Savvy Bride and Stephanie Bryan of Stephanie Makes.

Inspired Retreat Fall 2015 Update

Category: AH Inspired


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Have you visited the Inspired Retreat website to see our latest updates for our gathering planned for this October 18-21, 2015? Be sure and head over there now!

I’m so excited to reveal our speaker line-up for Fall 2015! Click here to see these talented leaders in the creative industries.

Each year I work hard to deliver new relevant content to drive results in your creative business. Our name may be Inspired, but our experience is designed first with actionable and strategic content in mind.

If you want to learn how to run your business more effectively and efficiently so you can spend more time being creative and doing what you love, come join us this October. If you crave a small army of cheerleaders and supporters behind you to help you make things happen, we’ve saved a seat just for you.

RSVP today for your cottage at www.inspiredtheretreat.com/register. Early bird rate ends August 18th! Save $200 by using code INSIDERS at check-out and payment plans available.

Inspired 2015 Registration is now open!

Category: AH Inspired

 

amber housley Inspired conference

I’m thrilled to share the registration is now open for Inspired 2015!

We’ll be returning to the gorgeous rustic country inn that is exclusive to our attendees. Located a little over an hour from Nashville, Tennessee, the venue is the perfect retreat for creative business women to relax and connect, but more importantly — grow their business, learn new skills, and be inspired by our amazing (and approachable!) speakers.

Our fabulous speaker line-up will be unveiled on January 26th.

We’re pretty confident that we’ve outdone ourselves again on content and business strategies not covered anywhere else or at any other conference out there!

Be sure and watch our new film that recaps last Fall’s wonderful experience! Register for your seat now.

 

Inspired: The Retreat from Amber Housley on Vimeo.

2015 #Powersheets Goal Setting: Part 1

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Hello, friends. How has 2015 been for you so far? Still getting everything in order to make it the best year ever?

I am. This week, I’m working through my Power Sheets for 2015 and found that I needed to just write out a lot of the baggage I’ve been carrying around. What started as a list of what did work and what didn’t work in 2014 combined into one lesson after another.

So, here is my story for 2014 in all its messy parts — and in all its blessings. Hoping it might help just one person out there reading it and maybe to spur some change for yourself.

After writing all this out, I feel quite refreshed, just like how I’m approaching 2015.  I’ll follow-up later this week for some goals for 2015 and I highly recommend you check out Lara’s Goal Setting series over on her blog.

And, here we go….!

Lesson #1: Life will always go on and I don’t have keep up with the hustle that everyone else seems interested in. 

I started 2014 with the best of intentions. I knew our little baby girl was going to add an additional element to juggle and the time leading up to it I really embraced the coming time. I was mentally prepared for her and the affect on our life. Or so I thought…

Fast forward 10 days after her birth and I called a friend on the phone with giant crocodile tears streaming down my face. I was worried that the world would forget about me and my business. That I would be left in the dust and the world would continue on without me.

Yes. It was a big, selfish sob fest.

Looking back, it may seem silly to some to have these thoughts, but I had so much of myself wrapped up in constantly moving forward, that sitting still freaked me out.

It was a good reality check, and after a few words of stern advice from her, I have to say it was the best thing a new mama could have heard. It really set the precedence for the rest of the year.

I kept her words in my head. You will go away for awhile, and it’s okay. When you come back, it will be like you never left. 

Fast forward to the Spring, and momentum had picked up around here. I was on the path of blazing many, many trails. Our office days we were like busy bees as we prepped for the launches of new services, new product lines, and Inspired

Naturally, the pace started to wear down on me. On the outside, I probably looked incredibly confident. Everything was moving forward as it should. My always-planning self felt exhilarating to be mapping out the year of goals, tasks and metrics. But on the other hand, I was growing weary. The demands of being a new mom, working two jobs, being a boss and leader…I started to deflate.

There’s a certain gusto of energy that comes after a new baby. It’s as if you’re trying to make up for lost time. Or maybe it’s trying to reclaim your identity back? I’m not sure. In either case, it ended with me calling another friend who prayed with me on the phone. More tears. I was needing clarity but knew from earlier in the year, I was just trying to keep up with some sort of competition that didn’t really matter.

At that time, I decided I really despised the word hustle. I was wanting more heart and less hustle.

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Lesson #2: Chasing things is incredibly exhausting.
Lesson #2.5: Pause buttons are good.

 (are we sensing a theme here?)

Another blessing from this year was the gift of my heart saying “pause.” After I accepted the position with Studio Calico, it was timed with a week long vacation at the beach with my family. Man, did I need that time to stare at the ocean more than ever. From October up until the past few weeks, I put everything on pause. All the things I had wanted for so long – to prove I could grow a business, to be a boss, to even reaching six figure sales – I checked them all off and it all still felt empty and not fulfilling.

For the first time ever, I knew it was finally time to put on the brakes. I was searching for a lot of answers that my futuristic looking self needed but at the same time consciously knowing I just needed rest.

I trimmed off some extra things we were doing in the business, that while great income producers, needed a lot of extra time supporting and my heart wasn’t fully in it. I pulled back from a lot friends and ‘the outside world’ (i.e. the internet) and just sort of went through the motions. Waiting.

Waiting to know when it felt right again.

That time finally came again in the days after the new year. I can say the rest has been so restorative. I’m grateful that business still hummed along as I sorted things through. Sometimes you need to step back to get your groove back and that’s where I’m at.

In this time I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to just focus on my family again and the parts of my life I had been neglecting for a long time. I have a desire to work creatively again in many new ways. We also have some wonderful clients and projects underway that started in 2014 that I’m ready to give again to.

I think I was five years overdue on the pause button. I’ll be more aware of them in the future and not shy away from fear of what pausing things can do.

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Lesson #3: Keep your race with yourself. Just trust it will work. 

This race I keep referring to – there’s one place it worked. The race with myself instead of against the competition.

Inspired 2014 was a success for me in every sense of the word. Being the fifth production of it, I had fine-tuned things from every previous lesson learned. This was by far my biggest production yet. Every aspect we planned and detailed out just came together almost exactly as I had imagined it.

But during the planning process, I’d sometimes lift my head up and start to see other new workshops and conferences were popping up. As you can imagine, it would just lead my head down the wrong path. I had ugly feelings and thoughts and I hated feeling that way — it went against my ‘cheerleader’ nature. I want everyone to succeed and wholeheartedly believe there is room for everyone is the great wide world. But, I’m human and weak. I recognized the self-defeating nature of comparison and was determined to keep my head down and focused on all the good we could offer at Inspired and the lives we could impact of women and moms like me. When I stayed focused on the good and the energy in what I was doing, it was like magic. I’m so entirely grateful for every speaker, attendee and team members that played a role in it coming together.

As I stared up at the waterfall, knee-deep in fresh creek water, surrounded by friends while a large group was back at the retreat having small group conversations or learning to watercolor paint…I thought to myself, “you did it.”

It taught me that sometimes you have to keep your head down, run your own race, do the hard work, and just have to trust that it will work.

And it did.

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Lesson #4: Only you can define your definition of success.

For years I had my identity placed in the idea that my success was always linked to leaving my corporate job. My entire goal was to replace my salary with my business income. That was success! But the truth was, I had a really great job. A job that provided me with lots of other stimulation that my creative job sometimes lacked. I had incredible luxuries working for this agency and a great group of people I worked with for almost 9 years. Quite frankly, I was also pretty damn good at it. It’s no wonder that I could almost never leave it. 

But I did leave it and as I navigated leaving that work family behind and the identity of my formal self, I felt lost. Here I was placed in this amazing new job and opportunity and at the same time I didn’t want to lose my own sense of self or for outsiders to think I really hadn’t made it.

I wanted to hang a sign around my neck that read:

Hey! I like my new job AND I still have a pretty great business! I didn’t sell out! 

I had to pull together my new definition of success. 

In this new identity, I feel like I’ve been placed in a unique position that doesn’t have a voice today. I have a job that I’m actually not trying to leave (keep in mind, that has been my thought process for 8 years!) and the luxury that comes along with that has finally come to sink in. The opportunity to redesign my business to truly fit my passions and align them with the amount of time and energy I have left is an amazing gift. The work that I am doing by day is really fun and exciting and supporting everything that makes me excited about creative entrepreneurship – now that I’m working for a small (but also big and growing) creative business.  

I feel really compelled to share more of my story and expertise in juggling business with family obligations – and even a full time job – in the year ahead.

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Lesson #5: God does amazing things. 

When I first became a mom five years ago, my interest in God started to grow. However, it has been my participation in the Making Things Happen conference the last two years that has really played such a big role in all this. As I was surrounded by friends like Lara and other women who openly talked about their faith, it was inspiring. To see the example by so many friends of placing their hopes, their weaknesses, their failures and their dreams in God’s hands has been life-changing. Slowly over this time, God has been revealing more of His grace each day. I’ve prayed a lot of prayers and one really important one to me was answered just a few weeks ago as we joined as covenant members at Providence UMC ,on the very same day we baptized Kayla. 

This growing faith has been awkward at times but right all at the same time. I’m like a curious school-ager asking lots of questions and discovering new wonderful things. Everywhere I turn, I feel like a person or message is waiting for me at just the right time. Lara, Nancy and Ashlee have been a source of encouragement from afar via emails and texts at social media and such great examples in turning faith completely over to Him. Jenny saw I was looking for a daily devotional on Instagram and reached out to me to say she wanted to gift it to me. That little book has been a blessing each morning since I received it. This past October, I was struggling with parenting issues and I met Casey who spoke directly to my heart in all the promises God had for me as a mother even when I feel completely ill-equipped. I shared with Kristin how badly I wanted a church home and for our family to have God a part of our lives. I never thought the reality would happen so fast, but it did.

God is so good. I’m looking forward to growing my relationship in 2015. I can see how every lesson learned above was all pointing to this one right here.

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So here we are in the first week of 2015! Can you relate to any of the above lessons? Are you using Power Sheets as well? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Looking forward to putting some goals down and tending lists prepared later this week. It’s going to be a fantastic year.

Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far!

- Amber