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If you’re a creative entrepreneur (or wannabe!), this interview will encourage you, and challenge you to think bigger and believe in yourself! Mary Duggan is a creative consultant and jewelry designer who found her passion and regained her confidence after devoting herself to her family through her son’s childhood illness, being let go from her corporate job, and more. Join us as she shares the events that lead to her current mission AND a push to help you start a creative business that fills your soul!

Wondering How to Start or Grow Your Creative Business? Consider Mary’s Advice…


#1 – Be Consistent

Have you ever thought to yourself, if only I would have started dieting this time last year? Or, what would this year look like if I would have ACTUALLY joined that trade show, or worked on my marketing efforts? Don’t miss out. Those tiny, daily steps add up to big gains. Mary emphasizes the importance of consistent effort, and suggests trying to set aside 30 minutes per day as a start.

#2 – Make a Plan

You have to PLAN to be consistent. Just like you would set aside time on a Sunday to do your weekly meal planning, you need to set aside 15 minutes to plan for your business week! What will your theme be? What do you HAVE to get done? What content will you be getting out? How will you fit it in with everything else you have going on? How will you prioritize?

#3 – Be Strategic

You don’t have time as a mother to thrash around and experiment with your business. Instead, you have to be intentional about working on the things that will move your business forward. Think about WHY you’re doing what you’re doing!

#4 – Know Your Ideal Customer

Maybe you represent your ideal customer, but maybe not! If you’re only making things for yourself, they may not sell. Be honest with yourself about who you are attracting, or want to attract and think through what that person would want.

#5 – Look Back Regularly

Reflect to see what you’ve achieved in the last week/month and take time to congratulate yourself and celebrate it! If you take steps consistently, you’ve probably accomplished more than you realize! Don’t compare yourself at the beginning of your game to someone at the top of their game. Compare yourself to YOURSELF 6-12 months ago. Also take note of what you could do better – can you automate processes or streamline to get more out of the time you have available?

#6 – Identify Your Shift Point

As mothers, we have to know the level that’s doable for us. But, we also need to identify our next shift point, whether that’s kids entering school, becoming more independent, or leaving for college (as examples of shift points that will allow you more time freedom)… And most importantly, be READY for it! Think about how you’ll use your newfound time to accelerate your business and achieve your goals. You don’t want to be caught unprepared! You need to take full advantage of this time when it comes.

#7 – Believe in Yourself

Work consistently, and you WILL get there 🙂 You got this, Mama.

Watch the Interview to be Encouraged and Build Confidence in Your Gifts

If you don’t have time to watch the full interview, here are some highlights. Be sure to bookmark this page so you can watch it in its entirety later! This one is not to be missed…

  • 0:00 – Mary’s Story – From no career plan, to being let go from her corporate job, to finding her creativity again, Mary shares the ups and downs of finding yourself, being a mother, and learning to be confident in your gifts.
  • 17:24 – Milestone – Despite setbacks, Mary was determined to hit 50 feeling amazing – here’s what she did.
  • 24:13 – Exploring & Education – Mary talks about the importance of exploring opportunities and education in finding your passion, as well as “Owning” what you do and standing in your own power.
  • 29:12 – Taking Risks – Here’s how Mary stepped out of her comfort zone and what happened when she finally took that leap.
  • 30:46 – Support System – Find people who will support you, and NOT get stuck in your stories with you. Find people who can see your best self and hold you to it, help you get there, and call you out when needed.
  • 34:42 – Growing A Business – How Mary went from selling her jewelry in one shop in a run-down mall in an economically-deprived town, to showing next to world famous brands.
  • 39:56 – Courage – Courage is about being terrified and doing it anyway. Do it scared. It’s OK. Don’t let fear paralyze you. It’s like riding a bike – don’t focus on the rocks or the potholes – acknowledge them, then look for the clear path.
  • 43:37 – Breakthrough Moment – Finding what draws together your passions and translating it into a business endeavor
  • 45:15 – “Now What Do I Do?” – When you’ve been taking care of others for so long, it feels selfish to think about yourself. Mary discusses how she helps people explore their passion and what’s getting in the way of going for it.
  • 47:24 – Getting Started With Your Creative Business – Side hustles, the importance of consistency, and how to grow strategically as a mother in your creative business.

You Can Do the Hard Stuff

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re a maker, creator, crafter of some kind – whether professionally or otherwise. Is your creative endeavor something that could help your family financially, but you don’t feel confident enough to go for it? Or maybe you WANT to jump into your creative side more often, but it’s been put on the backburner because of an intense job, or sacrifices you’re making for your family? In the video, Mary talks about how motherhood showed her how strong she was, and I want YOU to hold on to that thought for today… You can do the hard stuff. She had a child with health problems and experienced job loss and other struggles along the way. We all have SOMETHING that we carry as mothers. But we’re able to deal with awful situations and stay calm – it’s a superpower, right?? We as women don’t give ourselves enough credit and recognize our strengths. Don’t minimize what you do. ❤ Maybe, like Mary, you’ve seen years of drifting with no real career plan, or maybe you’ve been pursuing things that you think will make others happy. It’s time to try something for yourself.

If You Struggle with Confidence…

If you already work in a creative business, OWN it. If you’ve worked hard to master a craft, you can wear that badge. If you’re naturally gifted… if you’ve struggled and found your niche… even if you’ve never sold anything in your life… you can own that role. Whether you’re a printmaker or painter – many of us can hear a little voice saying, “you’re not really a…” But the next time you introduce yourself (maybe practice saying it out loud in front of the mirror?) do it proudly and with ownership.   I’ll go first.   “My name is Mara, and I’m a writer.”

If You Struggle with Logic, Fear, and Pessimism…

Yes, this is a thing 🙂 Mary’s advice was so profound for me. She talks here about riding a bike down a path, and how EASY it can be to get caught up with just focusing on (and even dismounting to get around) the potholes, scary-looking leaves, or rocks. All the things that could knock you over or get in your way…  Those things are important to take note of, but in order to reach your destination, you have to ACKNOWLEDGE them, then spend your ENERGY looking for the clear path ❤

Resources Mentioned in this Video:

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Christine Kane – Christine helps entrepreneurs uplevel their business.

More About Mary:

Mary Duggan helps people tap into their personal creativity to discover and develop the resources they need to become their best selves.

Are you a creative soul? Tell us what you do below! We’d love to hear from you!