HUGE News!

I’m so incredibly excited to share with you guys that I’ve finally been able to open up my one-on-one coaching program again!

coaching-with-lara-kulpa

I’m doing things a little bit differently this time, because I really need to know that you and I are a good fit before we start working together. I don’t want to set things up and have anyone spending their time or money on something they shouldn’t be, even if that’s spending them with me.

This time, I’ve instituted an application process, but don’t freak out! It’s not a pass/fail exam, and you’re definitely not going to be graded on your answers!

If you’re even remotely interested in working with me, go jump in here -> Apply Now.

If you’re still not sure, please read on…

I’ve written in a few places on this site about who I am, and what I can do for you. Please take the time to read those (the links open in a new window). I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to do their research, but I do want you to make your decision without hesitation, too. How many times have you sat there and talked about joining a gym in the past year, but never did? Or worse, you never go? It’s time to change those habits, and it all starts here.

I want you to learn that you’re worth more than you’re getting right now.

  • Are you a female blogger (you don’t have to be a “mommy blogger”, but you certainly can be) who writes amazing posts and puts your heart and soul into your blog, but you’re afraid of offending people so you hold back on really asking your audience for money (by selling them things) or to buy certain things through your affiliate links?
  • Are you an artist or crafter who has been afraid to spend money on your website or marketing efforts, and still wonder why you’re not making sales?
  • Do you have a unique style of writing or drawing or painting, but don’t know how or where to market it?
  • Are you the person who simply would rather spend your time creating your craft than doing any of that icky marketing stuff?
  • Do you need help getting past the fear, or rather, do you need help just knowing what to do next in order to take your business to the next level?

Yes, if you answered “yes” to any of those questions (or anything similar), we need to spend some time together. Apply Now.

I’m not about dragging these things on, you know. Either you know in your heart that you need help, or you don’t. In case you need to do more research, here are a few other things¬† from others who have written about me during various times in my career as a consultant:

  • “Lara Kulpa helped me organize the ProBlogger meetup in NYC. Actually she did it all and I ‘helped’ her. Lara’s a generous person who knows how to get things done. She’s enthusiastic and efficient and approached the task with a lot of passion and fun. I’d recommend her to anyone.” – Darren Rowse
  • That VIP Feeling
    (Over at Chris Brogan’s blog)
  • Podcast with Srinivas Rao on BlogCast.fm
    (Srini is a bestselling author, his most popular book, The Art of Being Unmistakable is a huge hit, but his other books, podcasts, and conference are equally top notch.)

Let’s connect, see where you’re at, and get your business on the fast track to success!¬†Apply Now.

Here’s a List of Goals I’m Working On…

To say that I’ve had a moment of ‘enough is enough’ is an understatement.

See, I’ve been contracting with a company for a while now, and it’s really just not a fulfilling job for me anymore. (Yes, I’m well aware that they’re probably following my blog, and they’re probably going to be a little upset when they read this. I’m hoping that they instead try to understand where I’m coming from, and be supportive as they have in the past.)

I can do lots of things. I have done lots of things. I’ve been a web developer, a community manager, an event planner, an author, a business coach and consultant, a blogger, and (my most favorite) an artist. However, there comes a moment in life where you decide that there’s too much going on, and not enough of it is what you want to be going on.

My daughter is nearing two and a half years of age, and she’s pulling the perfect guilt-trip on me every morning about being sent to daycare. Truth be told, while I adore her daycare mom, I hate sending her off every day. It would be so much nicer to be able to limit my “Mommy needs to send you off so I can work” time while not sacrificing my income. (Goal #1 – Be able to spend more time with my daughter and family.)

So what needs to happen in order to make that happen? I need to cut my work hours and increase my “hourly” wage somehow. Not easy in this economy of course, but I’ve always agreed with the idea that you can’t really make money working for someone else. You also can’t really feel fulfilled in your soul if you’re a creative person, doing non-creative work. (Or doing any work that doesn’t make you ridiculously happy.)

rebuild-my-businessIf I could re-build my business life from scratch, there are only two things I would want to be doing.

  1. Making and selling art.
  2. Teaching other creative people how to make a living by being their own boss.

So the way I see it now, I have to develop a way to have the second thing support my need to build and grow the first thing. Yes, I’m kind of “baring it all” here for you, friend. These are the only two things I’m aiming for. I want more than anything in the world to end 2015 doing only those two things for my work. (Goal #2 – Cut back on stuff I no longer want to do, to make time for things I do want to do. And DO THEM!)

If you asked me to name a few faults of mine, it’s not that difficult to pin down a dozen or so for you. We all have things about ourselves that we want to change, or improve, or eliminate, right? (Please, someone tell me I’m right!)

I have this thing about developing an idea for a blog, buying the domain, designing something cool, and starting off – but then never finding the time to finish or follow through. I kid you not, I think right now I’ve got at least 30 domain names registered and hosted with either no-start or a faulty one. I could totally employ a whole bunch of writers if I had the time to get them going and earning some income. But instead, there they sit. In the dark, dusty corners of the interwebs, growing cobwebs.

If any of you are interested in what these may be, and either buying them or helping me to revive them, let’s talk. If not, let’s move along.

The same happens in my home. I have all these ideas of how to improve our space, and never the time or money to do it. See, when we finally moved in, I was 7 months pregnant. Two weeks after the last box was here, I had my baby shower, and one week later, our daughter was born. EARLY! We never really had a chance to “nest” or get settled, and it’s been that way since. It’s frustrating for all of us, I think, and it’s something I really want to work on each and every week until we get some semblance of normal (with a fabulous cleaning/organizing on the regular kind of routine) around here. (Goal #3 – Don’t let it become more than three years to settle into our home. Get it done!)

Here Comes The Good Part!

I’m going to use you guys as my accountability partners. I need you to be my cheerleaders, my butt-kickers, and my muses. I’m going to start keeping track of these three goals and what I’m doing to reach them, every month. I ask, nay… I beg you to keep up with me, comment, email me, find me on facebook and kick my butt. In the meantime, I’m going to be creating some really amazing stuff to help YOU out.

Intentions, however great they may be, are nothing without follow-through.

  1. By March 1st, you’ll see the opportunity I mentioned before about one-on-one coaching. You’ll be able to buy anywhere from one session to twelve, and together we’ll work on a plan to get you out of any ruts, and grow your creative business together.
  2. By sometime around mid-April, you’ll see the entire plan put together for the Creative Entrepreneur Mastermind Group I’m building for you. It’s going to be an intensive group program where we’ll all work together (along with a few other experts I”ll bring in) to get our heads straight, set goals, have action items, and get it done.
  3. I’m going to continue my work on planner pages and helpful worksheets for you, some for sale, but some just as my way of thanking you for your support!

Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, either by email or in the comments! I truly love hearing from each and every one of you, and I do my best to reply to everyone!

My 3 Words for 2015

I love Chris Brogan. No, really. I know you may think that everyone loves Chris Brogan, but you really have no clue how much I love him. He’s been a great friend and mentor over the years, and I really think that my world would totally suck if for some reason he had never come into it. If you need a kick in the pants or some inspiration, please… go get to know him. He’ll let you, I promise.

Every year since 2006, he’s done this really cool thing where he chooses three words to represent his direction for the coming year. I’ve done it before, and like most resolutions, I rarely stuck with them (I often forgot them), but this year’s different. I’m going to pull the three words out and I’m going to make sure they’re at the forefront of my next 365 days.

Purge. I’ve got a lot of “stuff”. Stuff in my home, stuff in my car, stuff in my head and heart. Stuff that no one really ever needs to hang on to. It’s like that junk drawer in your kitchen… the one with 329 twist ties you saved from bread bags in case you need them. The one with 27 rubber bands you saved from buying bunches of asparagus. The one that somehow also managed to collect 42 packets of soy sauce from your Chinese takeout. Ew… I think one of them broke open and now you’ve got to clean out the whole thing! Yup. Purging. I’m yearning to live in a cleaner, neater, less cluttered home. That goes for my mental home, as well as my dwelling. Gonna come up with a plan for this and attack it!

Stitch. No, this isn’t just because I got a brand new sewing machine for Christmas (but, um, HELLO, I’m so excited for that), but it’s that I have always had so many different things going on in my life at once, that sometimes they feel disconnected. I want to have it so that everything in my work is connected to everything else in my work. I want to stitch the pieces together to build a beautiful quilt. One that will keep my family warm and comfortable. I need everything to work together so I’m not feeling like I’m jumping rivers to get from one piece to another.

Protect. My daughter is at the age now where she can understand a lot more than one might think. I’m not just talking about profanity, but conversations in general. She’s well aware when someone’s saying something “mean”, and when someone’s being “sweet”. She gets upset at the former, but turns to complete mush with the latter. I love that, but I feel the need to protect her heart. I also feel the need to protect my own, and truly want to protect those I love. However – part of protecting is avoiding too much negativity. I’m certainly not going to play ignorant to it, but I’m just not going to give it oxygen any longer.


Have you ever chosen words to represent your coming year? What are your words for 2015? Share them in the comments, reply to my email, post them on social sites… whatever, but make sure you announce them so someone can hold you accountable! ;)

Sometimes, I Share Things I Wouldn’t Normally Share…

But the truth is, I wouldn’t be who I am, or where I am in life if I didn’t share them with others.

Do you ever have these random thoughts that pop into your head, and wonder why more people don’t think or act the way you’re thinking they should? I do.

Do you get so bogged down in the daily garbage in your life, to the point where you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels and no one cares? I do.

octoberPosts like this one typically only wind up in my newsletter, I’ll be honest with you. For some reason, I’ve always felt that there weren’t enough people to want to listen to when I needed to just “get it out”, so I always limited myself to the people who actually signed up for the “extra” content I send out in my newsletters. If you’re already a subscriber, you know the kinds of things I’m talking about. If you’re not, then maybe you’re missing out. Or maybe you’re relieved. Either way, I decided that today I was going to put it out there on the blog and see what happened.

Now, before you start thinking that this entire post is going to be about me complaining about how hard life is, please know that you couldn’t be more wrong. I know that life isn’t easy, and for that proverbial 99%, it can be especially rough. We all deal with family illnesses, money woes, job stresses, customer complaints, you name it. Sometimes it feels like it’s all coming down on your head at the same time, and no matter what you do or how positive you try to be – sometimes you’ve just got to let it all out and have a good cry. Or scream, even.

I just want you to know that I’ve been there, too. Recently, even. Especially when you’re in a business where money ebbs and flows, and sometimes you have excellent months and other times you wonder how you’re going to feed your kid or keep the lights on. I’ve been there.

The only nugget I can offer is that it does get better. I know it does, because after 16 years in this business, it’s happened to me. Will it get worse again? Probably. But I think I’m actually at a point where I’m able to have a little control over it, at least how I let it affect me. I wish the same for you. I want you to see that it takes time, it takes planning, it takes dedication, and it takes the will to believe without a doubt that you can make it work. Life, that is. Not just business, but everything.

I’ve been thinking about how our parents and grandparents did things. How they’d rarely go out to eat, and every Sunday was a big family meal. In my family, we’d have Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house, followed by a game of cards, and lots of laughter and love spread all around. I LOVED Sundays.

My mom was amazing at being able to come up with dinner for three during the week, using just about anything she could find in the pantry and freezer. Sure, she could’ve said, “Hell with it, let’s get pizza,” but no… Pizza was reserved for Friday nights, along with a rented VHS tape. (Ha!) But the rest of the week was home-cooked.

I often find myself struggling with feeling like I never have time to do everything. But the big problem with that is that instead of trying to regain my day in smaller increments so I feel like I’ve accomplished something each day, I wind up wasting that time planning, lamenting, wishing… And then the next day doing the same thing. And the next day.

Instead, I’m aiming to set mini goals for myself so that I can have better control of my time. I’m going to take the time while my daughter’s at daycare to plan my night. I’m talking right down to the cooking of dinner and washing of dishes and bathing of my child. No, I’m not going to be inflexible, but I want to make sure certain things get done every day, and that’s how I’m going to do it. Sure… I’ll have to figure out how to entertain her while I’m doing things she’s still too young to help with, but that’s part of life, right?

It’s the same with work. I have so many projects on my plate, it’s not funny! Some are already paying projects, and those get my priority of course. But I need to make progress on the projects that will take over once the others are finished, so that I have a more consistent flow going. So again, it’s about scheduling time to do priority work on the future.

We’re NOT living in our parents’ or grandparents’ time. There’s too much technology and rushing and demand on our time and wallets to have things be that simple and routine. But there’s definitely something to it… simplicity. Make time to unplug, and make time to connect with your family, without worrying about anything else but the sound of your child laughing. Just make a plan and force yourself to realize that with a plan, you’re going to succeed. You just have to break things down and make it easy as you can for yourself.

I guess what it boils down to is that I really hate seeing people (myself, a guilty party) stress over things to the point where they lose touch with what’s really important. Yes, there will always be things that happen that will certainly make it tough to remain grateful and positive. But you have to remember that there will always be moments that deserve your appreciation and full attention without worry. Those are the things I think we all need to focus on the most.

I’m sure I sounded a bit rambly up there, and if so, I apologize. But if any of this resonates with you at all… I encourage you to share your thoughts and stories in the comments. This is a community, after all. We’re all in the same boat most of the time, and the connections we have to the world are what helps keep us going and focused on what’s really important in life.

Facing Your Entrepreneurial Fears – Part 1

YOU DESERVE MORE THAN MEDIOCRITY!

I know it’s “comfortable” and “safe” – but you are an amazing human being, with a brain that’s capable of so much more!


I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some truly amazing people in my life. Both online and in person. Some are CEOs of companies they built from the ground up. Some are worker bees. Some are women who choose to stay at home and work on the side. Some are men who do.

One thing I’ve noticed though, is that the circles I travel are full of people who have dreams of being in business for themselves, but seem to not have “what it takes” (according to them). I think that’s just ridiculous, to be honest with you.

Lots of people rely very heavily on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test to determine who they are, what they should do, who they should work with. Yes, I think that can be a decent “window” to someone’s personality, but let’s face it: People change. Sometimes daily. Life and all it’s curveballs can truly change someone. Their “Type-A” personality today could easily turn into being quite the introverted, insecure soul tomorrow. It happens.

The truth is, I firmly believe that ANYONE who wants to start a business and work for themselves, can. It’s a matter of knowing your own strengths and weaknesses (at any given time), and knowing how to work with them. Wanna know why most people just keep dreaming, instead of doing? It’s fear.

fearpt1Fear holds us back from a lot of things. I’ve known people who have purposely done poorly in school for fear of being pushed to their limit and failing. They’d rather fail “in the middle”. I’ve known people who have said that they’ve always wanted to know what it felt like to fly, yet have never gone parasailing, bungee jumping, skydiving, or anything else close.

Fear isn’t a bad thing. It keeps me from driving when there’s more than 2 inches of snow, because I’m afraid of having an accident. In that case, it’s just a risk I’m not willing to take. Yet I’m totally down with the idea of skydiving someday.

When fear becomes something you need to challenge, is when it’s holding you back from potentially POSITIVE things. Put it this way: If you stay in your dead-end job, yes, you’ll have a paycheck (as long as they don’t “downsize” on you), but it will likely be the same size paycheck (adjusted for inflation with a teensy raise here and there), as long as you’re there. Is it safe? Maybe. Is there any potential to get a BIGGER paycheck there, though? Probably not.

But going into business for yourself DOES have the potential to get you a bigger paycheck, even if it still carries the chance you’ll have a much smaller (or zero) paycheck. Sure, there’s a risk. But there’s a chance that the reward could be BIGGER than what you’ve got now.

Nevermind the money, though. Staying a worker bee carries it’s own minor rewards. You’re not working more than 40 hours a week. You get to leave your work at work when you come home. You have less responsibility than a business owner. You don’t have to deal with consequences, budgets, or any of the other things that are your boss’s job to worry about. Great. How completely freaking boring, though.

Facing your fear and starting a business could make you wealthy in so many other ways. A feeling of accomplishment. Helping others have work (because of those pesky weaknesses of yours), getting your product or service in the hands of people who want or need it, and the possibilities go on and on and on from there!

Ask yourself this: Are you truly using your brain to do the most good for yourself, your family, and the world? Or are you sitting there stuck with a status quo because you don’t know where to go next, or you’re afraid of the work, the risk, or the reward?

If it’s the latter, then you need to choose better. Choose better for yourself and your family. It’s about dedicating yourself to something bigger and better. Letting fear get in the way means that you come up with excuses to not do something potentially amazing. Don’t you have people you need to inspire? Don’t you need to go to bed at night feeling proud of what you’ve accomplished, like surpassing precisely what you feared in the first place?

YOU DESERVE MORE THAN MEDIOCRITY. Go out and get better. Be better. Be who your heart wants you to be.