True Freedom! How we cleaned up over 48k in debt in just 21 months

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I was in conversation a few weeks ago with a close friend and we were talking about bills. I mentioned how hard we were focusing on paying bills because we were close to getting out of debt and only having our home left to pay.  “Wow, you’re lucky.  Must be nice.” That was her reply.  That stuck with me… we must be lucky.. it just didn’t sit right.

Over the last few weeks that’s been stirring around in my mind between errands and other thoughts and I finally am able to articulate why I don’t think luck had much to do with it and I certainly wouldn’t call the experience “nice”.  It was hard.  Really hard.  It is was raw and real and I feel like we’ve been paying off debt FOREVER!

Fair warning; this post is really honest and really long.

I believe in going after dreams, in living a big life and in living in true authenticity and joy.  I want a life that is full of love and experiences that make me grow and expand my life and relationships.

Let me rewind to 2011, our life was busy and full of joy. We had a small modest home in the suburbs of Minneapolis, 2 used cars we drove, a few acres of land a couple hours away with a camper, atv, an extra truck that ran and an extra truck that didn’t.  We’d spend the week working our tails off then pack up and go up to the “cabin” for the weekends.  As Sky got older and had more sports tournaments over the weekends we noticed that our attention, time and money were being pulled in more directions.  It was getting harder for us to really enjoy each thing we were doing because we were always racing to the next thing.  With a preteen and an infant we knew it was going to be many more years before we re-gained full chilled out weekends.  At the same time we were getting by financially, we didn’t think about all our payments since we were able to pay them all each month.  We didn’t consider ourselves paycheck to paycheck…  looking back we had about an extra 2-3 paycheck buffer that kept us feeling falsely safe.

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During a vacation to Colorado and out West in 2011, one of my dearest friends introduced me to Dave Ramsey and we talked about debt, and dared to dream what it would be like to have no payments.   It was after we got home that we had some serious conversations about money, goals and life.  We made a choice to stop reacting to life and instead make some hard decisions that would help us in the long run.  We knew that someday we wanted the best of both worlds, not the home and a cabin but instead a home where we could live like we were at the cabin. We set the intention and we got to work; that first year we sold the land, the camper, the atv, the trucks, extra furniture and everything we could think of.  Doing all of that also allowed me to continue to work part time and be home more to help raise the kids. It was a win-win.

Years before, after I was going through my divorce I remember feeling so hopeless financially.  I remembered sitting at the kitchen table with my dad and I was crying my eyes out. I had just gotten a notice that my credit card with an $11k balance was raising my interest rate to 33%.  As a single mom at the time I was panicked.  I couldn’t see out of the 10’s of thousands of dollars of consumer debt I was left with after that world came crashing down on me.  From that hopelessness I filed for bankruptcy.   I justified it in my mind and at interest rates of greater than 30% at the time on all my credit cards I had paid my original balances plus some but because of all the interest I couldn’t seem to gain ground.  I filed and felt like I got a new start. The ironic thing.. even the day after filing bankruptcy I still was never debt free. There were still student loans and other things I was still paying on.

Fast forward back now to 2012 and the hubby and I were in the midst of working to pay things off then our main car broke down.  Note – this is was a defining moment for us looking back –  We chose to let that car sit for a bit while we figured out how to fix it and we went out and we finance a newer one.  Eventually we fixed up the first and sold it for a loss. This cycle went on for the next couple years.  2 steps forward one step back.

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At the end of 2014 is when we officially had it.  I was fresh back from a life changing European trip working with women and had a glimpse of how big life could be!  I knew that life was so much more than work, bills and being tight on time.  We were done playing this game, especially with money.

We bought a used car for cash and put our financed suv up for sale.  It finally sold in the spring of 2015, we owed more than it sold for and we had to pay the different and take a loss but we wouldn’t change it.  That same time we were down to just around $1500 of debt.  Free of car payments and only a small minimum payment on 1 card left we felt our world start to open up again.  We’d been dreaming of moving out of the house we were in but were upside down in it and couldn’t figure out how to make it happen.  You can read all about that miraculous story here.  From paying down all that debt we were finally almost debt free but we were cash poor.  We knew we had to make that move happen.  In the meantime it built back up over 20k in debt again fixing up the old and new house and all the extras that come with a move. Add in a school trip for Sky to Europe at over $5k and other life that was turned to payments our world turned back into one of frugalness and very strategic spending.  Thank goodness for all the joy and how much we love it here, I admit it made it all worthwhile!

From January of 2015 through Sept of 2016 (21 months) – yes we managed to clear $48,986 in debt.  HOLY MOTHER!!!  I see that and it gives me hope.  We are a family that loves the simple things in life and living out here really made that easier to pull off but it has been anything but easy to make that happen.   We’ve had to say “no” hundreds of times a day to spending.   I’ve laid out all the details of how we saved money and what we did to bring in extra in this blog post for those that want to read all the nitty gritty details.

  1. We set a budget every month.  I can tell you what we spent in each area of our life for any month going back years.  I had to know exactly where all our money was going and then from there decide what to cut and what to allow.  I keep really detailed spreadsheets and I LOVE it, it must balance out my artsy side but I get a complete natural high from doing our finances and calculating all the numbers.
  2. We worked as a team.  The hubby and sat down at least a few times a month and laid out what our goals where we wanted our money to go, saw what was actually being spent, and made adjustments to get the two areas to match.  We stopped reacting to things and became very intentional.  We decided what to keep and what to cut, where to spend and tried to minimize unexpected things anywhere we could by predicting needs and planning ahead.
  3. Our entertainment budget averaged only $20 a month. FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!!  That is pretty much a few redbox rentals and then add up the extra over a few months and it’s a cheap night out.  We saw 1 movie at the theatre as a family and went to 1 county fair as a family in 22 months.  We had tons of bonfires, game nights, movie nights at home and work nights.  Plus we knew that we wanted to pour money towards debt and a couple strategic vacations. (this was not counting our family vacation – where we flew then stayed with a family member)
  4. Our restaurant budget averaged $30/month.  That meant a few drive through trips a month and we saved them for when we really were short on time or energy and savored them, or we’d stock up so we could go out to dinner with family or friends.
  5. We swallowed our pride and embraced a more minimalistic lifestyle.  This was actually the most enjoyable part.  After my mom passed away, it took years of going through her things and sorting through the layers of guilt, grief and the reality of physical space that “stuff” takes up.  Year after year I was able to let go of more of it.  What happens is it becomes a bit addictive when you start to feel empty space around the house.  It’s freeing.  Craiglist, ebay and FB groups became our selling machines.  We sold and donated a TON of stuff.  I let the kids re-sell their clothing they didn’t use anymore and they could keep that money as well.  It became a family mission to live with less stuff and instead enjoy eachother more and free up more time for life.
  6. My husband packed a lunch EVERY DAY for work.  For years he ate these garbage burritos.  Super cheap and filling.
  7. I learned to make my own laundry detergent, toothpaste, from scratch recipes, cleaning supplies and more.  I did this both for cost savings and also for the health aspect of knowing what was in our products.
  8. We cut our cable and only late last year got a Roku.  We got cheap cell phone plans and have scraped by with cheap phones.  (one of my next goals is to get a phone that actually has enough memory where I can have more than 6 pictures and also have instagram, FB, gmail, yahoo and etsy apps all installed at the same time… seriously)
  9. We sold the financed car mentioned above and knocked out $12k in debt!
  10. A better interest rate on our house meant that we were paying down $400 more a month off principal than we were in the old house. We switched to a 15 year loan and had the same payment we did in our old house where we had a higher interest rate and a 30 year loan.
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To get the kids involved we filled a jar with beans. We used 1 bean for every $10 in debt on our last card to pay off. Here is Aspen counting beans to add to the other jar so he could see that one jar was getting almost empty and that mean we were close to being debt free!

 

Those are just a small sample of all the behind the scenes things we did while no one was looking so that we could be so “lucky”.  We had to consciously decide to not keep up with those around us who were able to go out and eat dinner out multiple times a week or month, drive fancy cars with payments or even get to buy new wardrobes each year.  Whether it was true or not we had to decide 100% that we didn’t EVER want to feel so stressed out about money again.    It’s funny, I can honestly say that over the years the times I had to make decisions based around money and feel the most consumed by thoughts of money are the years where it was the leanest.   This summer was a perfect testament to that.  In contrast to 2012 when our van broke down, we were in a panic we had no money to fix it right then nor did we have money to replace it.  So out we went that weekend and financed a $20k used SUV.   In contrast this summer our car went out, we were able to calmly share a car for a week as we assessed what to do; then we stuck to a $2,000 budget for a new car knowing that we wanted to pay cash for this car and stay out of debt. It was our true test again, our do-over to see if we’ve FINALLY learned our lesson.  2 months later and we are so happy with our decision and have zero buyers remorse.

I don’t share this to brag and I don’t share this because I don’t think people should have nice things.  I share this to offer hope to anyone out there who is feeling hopeless, feeling how I was years back facing 10’s of thousand in debt and feeling like I had no options and full of shame.   I share this to show it is possible to pay off debt and not have car payments.  It is possible to give yourself breathing room instead of living from crisis to crisis.

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I believe life should be about surrounding ourselves with things, experiences and people that genuinely make us feel good.  Living authentically and truthfully.  Living within our financial means so we have breathing room when life hands us a curveball or a friend goes through a hard time and we then have some money to help them with.

When we aren’t paying hundreds (or thousands) in interest and debt payments each month it frees us up to be more in tune with our creativity, our goals, our truest authentic selves.  It leaves money to get select things that truly make us feel good (like art, ahem 🙂 ).  It lets us come out of survival mode and into a part of our being that we didn’t even know was there.  It takes guts and courage to get so honest and real with a spouse about every cent.  Things we think are necessities or secret spending.  It’s taken incredible amounts of self discipline. Mostly though I think it’s taken patience.  Once we decided we were done wanting to live the way we were it wasn’t like we could snap our fingers and actually be done.  No, instead that was just the beginning of years of sacrifice and years of being patient and trusting the process.  Years of feeling like some months there was only a hundred left over to pay towards debt and knowing that better months were to come.  Patience and not giving up.

one of the many days of hanging laundry to dry inside at our old house.

one of the many days of hanging laundry to dry inside at our old house.

Another lesson, other people will spend your money for you unless you learn to consciously control it.  People shamed us, people judged us, people laughed at us, people talked behind our back about our choices, people didn’t take time to ask us our goals but instead assumed we were in a downward spiral.  Looking back I can only imagine what it looked like to people close to us.  Suddenly they hear we are selling the land, camper, atv, trucks, furniture… they must have been scared for us.  Wondering if one of us had a secret addiction or gambling problem.  Wondering why we were giving up all the things we loved.  What they must have thought when we sold our nice 2012 suv and got an older ’02 model with some rust.   This is the lesson we learned in humility and believing in ourselves.  The lesson in making a plan that worked best for OUR family, choosing how OUR money would be spent and then learning to not care what anybody thought.  We learned to know  in our hearts that we were doing what we had to do for the best LONG term well being of our family and put that priority over the short term sacrifices.

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I am also partly sharing this just for my own self to fully grasp it and have it documented to share with our kids so they can understand all the times we said no to things.  Also because it gives me hope, after living so lean for years I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I see a year of intense saving coming up, making up for lost time and creating a buffer  so the hubby can switch jobs and have more free time.  I see hope of more travel, and lets face it… some new bras.  Truthfully though I hope other things don’t change.  I love the feeling of being a team, knowing we are working towards a goal, choosing time together over things and places.  I loved saying no 900 times so that we could budget in a family vacation that we’d savor and never forget.

I’ll be back in a few days with a write up of many of the things we did to make this happen.  We’ve found inspiration in so many others before us who have paid things off.  It’s funny because in theory it doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal to not have consumer debt. Maybe that’s why we so easily get into debt, we assume we’ll fall back out of it just as easily as we fell into it.   But the truth is it was really freaking hard just to get to the point where we stopped accumulating more debt.  Our incomes both fluctuate so it was easy to live high during the good times then freak out during the slow seasons.  It’s only when we figured out how to live within the earning of the slowest seasons and then consider the busy times as bonus that things started to change.   Even just giving up cable.  It was years ago now and I in my head was remembering it as no big deal.  However, I recently found a journal of mine and I was journaling through the process of giving up cable.  It was hard!  I was going through withdrawl.  I was missing my shows I loved, I missed my ability to watch things when I wanted (thank you dvr).  I felt completely disconnected from the world.  It took a good month or so I noticed reading back through my entries before I started to really unwind and really enjoy the new quiet space in my life.

Last Saturday night, we put all four of our fingers on the computer mouse and as a family we clicked to make our LAST consumer debt payment!!!!! Then we had an epic hour long dance party.  Singing, dancing and feeling thousands of pounds of pressure being lifted.  Especially for the kids I wanted to make that night a big deal. A celebration, an end of a chapter.  A night they can use to bookmark these past few years as well.  We all gathered round and counted down and did our own private scream, yelling, “3…2…1… We’re DEBT FREEEEEEEEEE!!!”.  It was awesomely nerdy and fantastic and felt amazing.   Next up… savings and house.

I thank you for reading our story.   We are sending out love to all of you and we thank you for all your support over these last few years.  We’re saying cheers to each of you on the same journey and saying prayers for all of us; that we may be able to live with a wisdom beyond our immediate knowing that guides us in love, compassion and joy.

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Intentional artwork – hidden meaning and love – 7 horses – New Artwork

I am in awe sometimes of the moments in life I get to be a part of.

This new painting was so special to me. It’s a larger piece, 6ft wide and 3 feet tall. It features 7 clydesdales and is full of meaning.

 

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I’ve created a video to show the the story and the hidden messages I’ve hidden within the artwork, click the link to see the painting unfold in this short video.

This artwork was coordinated by Robin at Front Door Coaching, she soulfully teams together interior design, coaching and bodywork and had the insight to bring me in to do this artwork. It was a group effort that I am so incredibly proud to be a part of.  It’s a kind of artwork called, Intentional Artwork.  Where there is meaning layered throughout the piece.  It’s a perfect type of artwork for people looking to capture a deeper meaning after loss, life changes or encouragement moving forward.

When you watch the video I’d be so grateful if you’d take a second and send love to the family this was made for. https://vimeo.com/180342361

 

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How to create an inspired outdoor space that’ll make you swoon

I have decided that I really want to spend more time outdoors this year.  Relaxing, inspired, bug free time.  So I put it on our budget for this spring to find a gazebo tent with screened sides.

As we searched every online site we could, we ended up finding one that was clearanced out for 1/2 off and ended up being just under $250.  SCORE!   Step one was complete, now for how to find inspiration.

  • I started by finding a shower curtain that I could hang on the back wall.  This helped set the mood and color scheme for the decor.  I chose a fabric shower curtain for two reasons; a) they are more durable than many fabrics and have been sewn around the edges and hemmed.   b) they already have holes cut at the top for a rod (or in our case zip ties).
  • Next I found a chandelier at a garage sale.  I found this one for $5.  It works, it was just a less trendy color of brass.   I gathered up other items that I wanted in the tent.  A basket for reading magazines, some twinkle lights, etc.

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  • I found indoor/outdoor spray paint and painted the basket and chandelier in this great deep teal color.  (the pictures make them look different but the color of the basket below is more accurate)

 

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  • We’ve had a coffee table that I made in high school laying around in our garage for years, so we took that out and decided to add repurposed fending boards to the top.  I cut them all down so they overlapped the top by about 3/4″ on each side.  I then faux distressed a few boards with some white paint and painted the legs of the table white.

 

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  • Now that we had all the pieces, we started assembling it all.  My hubby and I strung up the chandelier from the top, center.  Then took these great white lightes and strung them around the inside of the top. We made it so both cords met up on the same back corner and we zip tied an extension cord in the corner.
  • The original back curtain I had bought wasn’t going to be wide enough, so I found 2 more brown ones on clearance and put those on the sides of the middle one.  I love when things work out perfectly; I was looking for something to hang the curtains from in the garage and I found a 1″ piece of pvc piping that was exactly the right length. AMAZING.   So I got a bunch of zip ties and I zip tied every other hole to the pole.  Then we zip tied the bar to the top of the tent at different points.
  • On the table I added one of my hand painted wine bottle torches.  This one happens to be one that was used at our wedding reception luau so it holds extra sentimental meaning for us.
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Here is our finished results:

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A few other side notes – we plan on keeping this gazebo tent together in this part of the yard for years, so we anchor bolted the legs to concrete blocks on each corner.  If you have tent sides you could also place those behind the fabric background to add protection from the weather.  This tent was going to go in a space right next to our future bunkhouse but instead we decided to put on a different side of our yard that is at the top of a hill so it’s pretty windy.  So my hubby put a couple sheets of plywood behind the curtain and anchored them to 2 metal yard stakes.  This helps prevent the curtain from blowing around.  (similar to if we would have backed it up to a fence or building).

We have this one about 20 feet from our fire pit so it’s incredibly relaxing out there.  If possible I highly recommend putting in a part of your yard where you can relax, the original spot we almost put it left us looking at all the projects we still had to work on so we realized it would be as relaxing there.

One more project checked off our list here at the Little house on the hill.  We have almost been here 1 year now, it’s hard to believe.  We are loving every minute.

Wishing you an inspired day!

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how to thank a future in-law for raising the love of your life

There is that sacred time while dating, then engaged when your whole future is open in front of you. Possibilities abound, love overflowing, everything a bit glowy.

For me it was planning out a future with the greatest man I’ve ever known.   During the planning on my own wedding, which if I admit was only 6 weeks I didn’t have the time or perspective to really be able to communicate the love and appreciate I had for my future mother and father in law.

Fast forward a couple years later and my sister was getting married.  As I watched her wedding planning unfold and we all got to prepare for her big day, I got to thinking of all the things I wish I would have been able to say to my now in-laws.

So I created a card for a bride to give to the groom’s parents.   A card to say thank you.  Thank you for raising the greatest man, for teaching him how to love.  In the time since the card has been purchased by brides all over North America.  You can find more about that original card and purchase it here.

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all cards – ©Noelle Rollins Art

From that card I started getting requests for a card from the bride to her own parents.  So I created that card also, everything I wish I would have been able to articulate to my own parents.  I am so incredibly grateful both my parents were able to be there for my wedding day.  Ironically my mother passed away unexpectedly as I was on my honeymoon.  We never know how life will unfold; but there are those few special days where we can pause life and everyone can soak in happiness and bask in pure delight.  Love in the air, dancing, sharing our love for those around us.  It’s sacred.  A time that we shouldn’t take lightely, a time to say what we can to everyone around us.   These cards have been written in a way that even if you’re parent’s are no longer together you can give a card to each.

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Fast forward and I started hearing from more brides who wished for similar cards that their future husband’s could give to his parents and his bride’s parents.  You can find the set that includes these two cards here.  Some groom’s are the type that will actively seek out cards like this, but let’s be honest; most bride’s have just went ahead and purchased them for their groom’s to give.

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Sometime’s it can be hard to verbalize the words we want to say to those who mean so much to us.  It can help to have things written down, words to be read and re-read through the years by parents whose children are now married and beginning lives of their own.  I can only imagine the appreciation I’d have for a new daughter-in-law who could so openly share her love for my son. Who would honor me and my husband, it would give me so much hope for them as a couple and peace that my son will be happy.

Cheers to all of you who are planning weddings, balancing getting things checked off your to-do lists with also living in the moment and savoring the anticipation for your big day!

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a new move

We are getting all settled in the new house. Painting, unpacking, decorating, savoring.   This move has been a lesson in life about faith, trust and manifestation.

Let’s rewind to just over two months ago… my loving hubby and I were having a long look at our budget, bills, list of house fix-it projects and by all accounts we could not figure out a way for us to move.  We had been working hard to pay off everything so all we’d have left was a house payment.  It was a wonderful thing to not have all the payments but for the moment we were cash poor.  So we debated and decided the safe thing to do would be to list out all the projects we needed to work on and we’d spend the next year working on them and saving up as much cash as possible for a down payment.  We got to work that weekend and fixed some exterior things on the house.  It seemed fine for about 48 hours…

I sat with the feelings I was having and tried to identify what wasn’t sitting right.  I realized we were choose fear instead of going for our dreams.  We were playing it safe instead of taking a leap.  So I made a conscious choice.  I started packing boxes.  That night I shared my feelings and Bruce agreed. We decided that we would do whatever we could in our power to make a move happen and if it was meant to be for this summer then it would happen and if it was meant to be that we wait a year then that would happen.  We just needed to do all we could.   That week we continued working on our list of house projects.   I happened to post  the picture online of our packed boxes sharing our intention to move.  My lifelong best friend let me know of a house that would be perfect for us.   So we scheduled a showing that weekend and came to see the house on the hill.   We both knew immediately that this was our home.  It was what we’d been looking for over the past years, the yard, space, buildings all were a perfect fit for us.  All being finished enough that the house was move in ready but still enough character to the home that we could continue to do projects and add our own special touches.

We let the seller know that we wanted it and since he is a friend he agreed to hold it for us until our house could be sold. AMAZING.  So we were able to spend the next 3 weeks getting our house ready to be on the market. I was so grateful for family coming over and helping us paint, plant flowers and borrowing us a few things for staging.  It all worked!  We listed it and it sold in 2 days.   The buyer for that house wanted to be in it by the end of May and thankfully we had a new home to go to.

Pictures of the old house once we got it staged:

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So my friends, here we are.  Living in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley area in Wisconsin.  We can see Minnesota off in the distance.  We are learning more about this amazing community we are getting to be a part of here in Osceola and loving it.   Here a few pictures of the new house:

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This is the ugly peacock / chicken coop, remember how creepy, dirty and ugly it is now…  next summer it’s on the list to transform it into one of the coolest guest bunk houses ever:

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So that my friends is our story of our spring miracle.  What seemed impossible and we had no way to figure it out, we surrendered, trusted and worked our asses off and somehow here we are.  🙂

Sending love and support to every one of you for that impossible dream in your life!  And also to myself that I can remember this life lesson for the other areas where I have big dreams that seem out of reach.

Noelle_Signature

5 feathers – new artwork video

5 Feathers

This painting is so special to me.  I took a painting that was created out of joy, admiration and inspiration that had since had negative things attached to it.  An artist who let me take photographs of her and do a painting then later threatened to sue me for selling the artwork.  Lots of nonsense and negativity.  Everything opposite of what I stand for in my artwork and business.  When the exchange first occured I allowed myself to cry for a few minutes.  This person was trying to assure me not to take it personally…      could there be a more personal business than spending hundreds of hours pouring my soul onto canvas. Feeling vulnerable in my views, my work.   She then told me that she’d be happy to possible sell the work and we could split the money, blah blah blah..    I assured her that the work no longer held the same meaning for me.  That I could 100% guarantee that I would have no interest in EVER selling that work, in fact I’d be painting over it.  Then I hid all the email exchanged, said a prayer and promised myself I’d move on and use this as a growing experience.  (get releases in writing)

So that leads me to a few months back.  I joyously spray painted over part of the canvas and sat quietly and felt what it should transform into.  I knew it was supposed to be a dream catcher.   Symbolizing weeding out the negative.  Focusing and celebrating the good in people and life.  Celebrating our dreams.

I recorded the painting on on a time-lapse video.   It’s been sitting on my computer for over 9 months.

That leads me to today.  I woke up today and knew that today was the day.  It’s time to share 5 feathers with the world.   I lovingly share this video and I am so thrilled to have the background music be a recording done decades ago of my parents singing together.  (So special to me).

So I dedicate this painting to everyone who, in the face of negativity, has instead chosen good.  Chosen happiness, chosen to go for their dreams.

Behind each of the feathers I wrote a message.  They are:

– Leave the world a better place

– Abundance of love

– Connection.   Believe.

– Peaceful thoughtful life

– Serve

Those are some of the believes and goals I live my life by.   What would your 5 feathers say?

You can find the time-lapse video of me painting here on youtube:

http://youtu.be/3AwJxVNbfY8

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You can also find this original on my etsy site here (but don’t miss out on the video!): https://www.etsy.com/listing/228412253

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how to save yourself from firing everyone

Today I watched a fellow entreprenuer send out a newsletter and post online a message to all of the people on her mailing list to FUC# ‘n buy something or get off her list.  Can you imagine getting an email like that?

This is a beautiful, talented and seemingly confident woman.  What made her snap at her potential clients?  Well, she talked about giving things away for free but no one ever buying after that.  People using her time and draining her knowledge bank by asking her to lunch but then never paying and getting free coaching.  Spending 10’s of thousands on business solutions but not having them turn into profits.  I can empathize with her frustration over not seeing the monetary success she’d hoped to at this point.  But it got me thinking…  how can somebody prevent getting to that level of frustration?

I’m sure it was no coincidence that I was finalizing the boundaries chapter of the upcoming Finding Myself in the Moonligh ebook last night, so boundaries are fresh on my mind.  We have to remember we often teach people how to treat us.  I have zero personal knowledge about what is going on behind the scenes of this woman’s business, but from what she shared and my perspective I see 5 boundary breakdowns. Let me share:

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1. Overgiving – Give away a free promotion for signing up for a newsletter is common practice.  But giving away knowledge and uplifing messages everyday for a year without a solid plan to monitize it and it may lead to burn out and people expecting free from you instead of gaining the clients that value and would pay money for your knowledge.  Figure out the best path to share knowledge that works for you but won’t leave you completely burnt out.

2. Spending more than we have – when we take class after class, invest in companies and leverage everything we own for our business it leaves us in a place of desperation.  In some businesses people have turned that desperation into money, but when people sense that desperation they go running.  It’s not even conscious most of the time, somthing just smells off.  Build slowly and at the pace you can handle.  It doesn’t matter if people around you seem to do it faster and better, if it’s not what works for you then don’t do it.  The limelight and praises that can come from everyone thinking things are great, making our business seem bigger than it is or more successfull are short sighted.  It’s a delicate dance; you want to stay open to where you are headed, be positive and share the good but know that you can’t live off that praise.  The joy, fuel and get’er done-ness needs to come from within.

3. Don’t let others spend your money – People sell amazing products and services all over the world.  Often we can want so many of these.  The immediate answer so often is to “charge it”.  I’ve been guilty of this in my past as well.  Then just tell myself that this course or product will help me make more money and I’ll pay it back right away.  It may be true but it may not be true.   I have also learned that other people may not think $10k is a big deal, it may not be in their world.  But the reality is whether it’s $30 or $3000 or $30000 you have to be okay losing it if you spend (invest) it. It’s always a gamble.  No matter how good the deal, the class, the coaching or the product sounds if it puts your family in financial ruin then you need to find a plan B.  Don’t lose touch with your inner knowing. Think bigger then that immediate moment of temptation or pressure. Be okay with telling that person you need to think about it.  We can’t always pay our way out of something. Sometimes the answers come from believing in ourselves, getting quiet and listening to the next steps, praying and meeting people face to face.

4. Invite all I see online into my own life as truth – I see other artists or business owners that seem to have it all together.  The perfect studio, their art is unique and seems like it’s selling like crazy.  Jealousy can creep in so easy.   So can believing that whatever is working for that person is also what would work for me.  There are times I’ve been a bit envious of the paths of my sisters. Both are nurses they’ve had to follow steps A-Z then they are a nurse.  (and a ton of hard work) but the point is there is a path. A path that if stay on and keep plugging then you’ll get to the next step and the next step after that.   Owning a business isn’t the same.  Every single path is a bit different.  Especially in a personal business like art or coaching, it’s the soul and personal connection that is being the computer, the art, the phone that can often differentiate one company from another.

This can translate into how we see other mom’s whose kids are always perfectly dressed, families who are always vacationing and seem like life is so perfect.  Stick to your own path.  Make it the best you can! Believe in yourself!

5. Don’t give it away unintentionally – it’s perfect fine to say no to someone who wants to pick your brain for free. The answer to that (if you’ve run into it) is to have a way to flow them into your business by offering what you already have.  This could be a Frequently Asked Questions section on your website, a blog or an area where you have classes.  Or set up a free consultation, the point is to have a plan.  There is nothing wrong with giving knowledge away for free, the point is that you get to decide!  Often times it comes down to time, there isn’t enough time in the day to have the same conversations over and over no matter how much we wish we could.  Other times I’ve heard from coaches is that people want free coaching under the disguise of lunch or coffee.  It gets tricky when it’s the bread and butter of your business and you need to charge to be able to have a sustainable business.   Figure out what works for you and how you can solve this if it’s something you run into.

 

I wish this fellow business own the best.  It’s my hope that we can learn from her experience and save ourselves from that level of frustration and anger.  On the bright side whoever is left on her mailing list after today is most likely a hard core, paying client.  Maybe she’ll get her wish after all.

 

Sending you all the best!

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7th day of Christmas – Guitars Print set of 4

Welcome to the 7th day of Christmas!

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Today is a fun one. I can almost hear the guitar music playing.

You get a set of 4 guitar prints. These are the prints only (un-matted).

You’ll get:
1 – 4″ x 6″ Red guitar print
1 – 4″ x 6″ Yellow guitar print
1 – 4″ x 6″ Blue guitar print
1 – 4″ x 6″ Green guitar print

Looking for ideas on where to hang these?

Great in: family room, music room, music studio, child’s room, nursery, office, hallway, bedroom, teen room, basement, the list goes on and on.

Because these prints are un-matted I’m able to ship them to you for super cheap.   Many of the 5″x7″ frames come with a mat to fit a 4″x6″ picture so it’s a win-win.

Give them now for the holidays or put away for a birthday, father’s day or other gift later.

The matted version of this set retails for $32 so enjoy this great price of only $12!

Do you know someone who would love to take advantage of this special?  I’d be grateful if you’d forward this link to them.

Order here.

 

Thanks so much!

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Soulful Job Openings here at Noelle Rollins Art

Do you know someone who fits this description?

Honest, full of integrity, magnetic, people love them, love to talk with people and make things happen?   

 I am looking for one or two people to join my team.  You can click the picture or go here to read all about the position.  If you know someone fitting the description above I’d love if you’d forward them the link.

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Netherlands – Harmony tour

we spent the morning walking through the open airmarkets. Fresh fruits, olives, breads, fish… you name it.  The we sat and enjoyed a latté on the patio, we sat in frail wood chairs. each featuring vibrant paint of different colors, peeling off in places. It was perfect.

There is a stunnimg mall that is a huge arch withlight coming in through the 2 walls of windows. Yesterday I had a fresh juice drink from there.

Last night we dined at an italian restauant, we met 2 of the local women who will be at todays Harmony circle. Here are some pictures from today:

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Tonight after our harmony circle we will take an overnight ferry to England. We will arrive there in the morning.

One of my favorite moments was sitting at the bus stop on Frankfurt a couple nights ago. We were getting readt to take the over night train to Rotterdam, Netherlands and there was a group of college age kids. They had their radio turned up and all of us ladies could help but dance along. There was a bonding between groups even though no words were spoken.

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