Category Archives: Inspiration

Kick Start Your Business with a Helping Hand

I’m currently writing my business plan for my final subject of my Small Business Management course. A big, important chunk of this is the financial plan. (Understandably so). You can’t plan anything in your business unless you can fund it. Most people will suggest that you get an overdraft or a business loan, sounds simple right? But what if you don’t have a car or a property to secure finance against? What if you’ve been studying business stuff so you can actually succeed in the business world and don’t have a steady income for the banks to make their income calculations against? If this is you then you’re in the same boat as me. You could ask your family to go guarantor for you, but you may feel like you’re losing your independence. If you’re like me, you can’t live with the thought of them having to repay the loan if anything happens to you.

Small Money Tree by Elmira Titeyeva on Etsy.  “Money Tree-an attraction to wealth and money. According to Feng Shui in the tree must be an odd numbers of coins. 9 coins with a hole or multiple of 9 and attached red thread.”

If you want to start a charity or not-for-profit there are philanthropists all around the world who would love to help you out. Almost every financial institution has a charitable grants programme. If you’re a tech-based start up you’re ok, lots of investors out there waiting to cash in on ‘the next big thing’. If you want to start a community program to help under-privileged peoples then you’re also covered. If you want to make a short film or theatre production there are quite a few government grants available. If you’re under 30 you’re in luck with many youth programs for young entrepreneurs available.

What if you want to start a business because it’s something you’re good at, something you enjoy, it’s a good idea, there’s a gap in the market for it and it may do some good in this world? Then you’re like me, biting your nails, reading through grants websites til 4 in the morning.

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World” – Ghandi
Hand Stamped Jewellery by Kottage Kreations on Etsy

This morning I stumbled accross the Suncorp 5 Grand Helping Hand. $5,000 may not sound like much to big business, probably their annual budget for paper clips and highlighters. But for someone small, (a one-woman-show working into the wee hours to research, plan, network, blog and get things done), it’s a BIG deal. It’s just what you need to hire a professional graphic designer for some rebranding, get sample products made, get some advertising and get to some local wedding expos to get some paying customers. To be able to do this, without going into debt, would be ah-mazing!

Mountain Moon and Sea makes customers look and feel great. We create innovative recycled and hand-crafted stationery, accessories and giftware, made from ethical materials using fair-trade practices. Our product lines include ethical wedding stationery, greeting cards, event invitations and paper bead jewellery.

If you like what I do and what I write, can you do me a favour? (I will rarely ask my readers to do something for me). VOTE FOR ME for the Suncorp 5 Grand Helping Hand. As a reward I would like to offer 40% off total purchases from the Mountain Moon And Sea Etsy Shop with the coupon code “HELP2012” for all who vote. This includes 40% off already reduced, discontinued lines.

If you’re looking for funding and but more into communities and crowd-sourcing try Kick Starter. There are many Kick-Started success stories such as that of Allegory Pens. In the world of music Amanda Palmer is THE kick-ass Kick Starter.

If you’re not familiar with Kick Starter, it works by you submitting an individually crafted “all-or-nothing” project. The public pledge funds, yes that’s people you know and many you don’t, from all over the world. Any donation amount from $1 to $10,000 is catered for on Kick Starter. The artists have full control and responsibility over the project and usually showcase what they want to achieve with their projects in a video to convince would-be investors. Each project offers different rewards for different levels of funding pledged. Often rewards are a copy of the finished product, limited editions or exclusive experiences and are only limited by your imagination.

There Is More Than Enough For Us All by jessicagswift on Etsy. For more beautiful and inspiring prints click on the image to go to her Etsy listing.

Kick Starter really is an all-or-nothing game. You set your budget and your deadline and get people to pledge funds. If the target is met by the deadline you are funded, people’s credit cards are debited and you’re obligated to send rewards to your backers. If your deadline comes and you’re short of your goal well that’s the end, no one gets charged and you don’t have to send anyone anything.

Kick Starter may sound a bit like the hippie commune barter system of business funding, but you know what? I’m totally OK with that. It has power, with over 20,000 projects funded, over 2 million people pledging funds and over $200 million in funding granted.

I hope this has helped some other small business person out there to not give up. It may seem hard but if you have faith, believe in your ideas and keep sharing your ideas with people, the abundance you need will come to you.

🙂 Diane


Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee

More inspiration this week, while I sort things out after the madness of Christmas and an interstate road trip for my brother’s 21st in Melbourne. More photos from that another day. (Promise!).

I have seen many interpretations of carved books over the years but these Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee are something different altogether.

There is so much attention to detail that makes them stand out. I can see this being a great example of how having patience, putting in time and effort and striving for excellence can really set you apart as an artist or craftsperson.

The one pictured above also shows how thinking a little bit outside the box, pushing boundaries and taking risks can really pay off. All good lessons for me to take on board in creating products for Mountain Moon and Sea and approaching ways of doing business.

 I’ve always loved, and still love, the idea of taking something that has little use or value in it’s current form, like an out-dated text book, and transforming it into some beautiful and meaningful. I hope to take this idea and apply it by using the fabric offcuts I have from a tailor shop and making them into fabric bracelets and other wearable art pieces. The fabric I have sourced would have ended up in landfill if I had not rescued it. It is good to do something good for the planet, but it also gives me the warm and fuzzies too. 🙂

The 12th Insight

Recently I found a YouTube interview with author James Redfield about his new book, The 12th Insight. This has made me want to re-read some of his previous books so that I can be ready for the consciousness shared in his most recent book. His books have helped me on my individual spiritual journey, and the journey of many of my close friends also.

Now available at your favourite book seller.

His response when asked by MysticMonkey “Do you think we have enough energy collectively to live “The Twelfth Insight?” really stuck a chord with me.

“Absolutely, if we do it personally. You know … we can’t rely on collective energy anymore. We have to be net givers of energy not receiving of energy from other people, you follow me?  (yes) So this is really about, you know, stop thinking about this theory of it all. Stop… wanting to get a group that will help us remember to get it together, stop thinking about all that and start actually  practicing it personally so that… it becomes contagious to other people from us. …So we’re not waiting around for someone else to help us. But we’re actually building this way of life … and sort of radiating it out for everyone else to see and be listed by. I think that’s our great calling right now. And what will happen of course is that the more people doing then the more it becomes contagious to more people. All the group efforts will happen synchronistically to solve the problems in this world. But it begins with the individual with a kind of disciplined search for this larger consciousness. And again it’s very simple, if you make the decision to live your life authentically and openly and all you’re thinking about is how you can be of service to the people that you relate to everyday then that intuitive guidance of what to do and say comes as a result of that.”

What an inspiring call to action!

The interview is in two parts and I found worthwhile insights in both parts. Ironically I discovered all of this because of an ad on Facbook. Synchronicities can eventuate in any form, the trick is to listen and be open to them. It’s this attitude that has helped me to where I am today, with dreams of a brighter, more exciting, and better than I can currently imagine future.

James Redfield has a facebook page if you’re interested in updates, including details of the Global Prayer Project.

Why are you sharing spirituality on your business page? If you’re wondering why I’m putting this on my business page, that’s fair enough really. As I see it my business is an extension of me, my beliefs and my attitudes and values. It’s why I want to live a more ethical life and introduce others to ethical products that they can afford. My intuition guides me everyday. It helps me paint, create and channel things into reality that make people happy. Happier people means a happier, safer and more positive world. I decided to work for myself for many reasons, one of which was the soul-less employment I had experienced in the past. It was a means to gain finances as my attempts to genuinely help people were seen as ‘overservicing’ and time-wasting. I’ve finally come to the realisation that life is what I make of it. I can create my own opportunities to live and work how I want to, and need to. In the future I plan for this business to grow to a point that I can bring others in to experience a positive and supportive work environment too. I trust that synchronicity will brill me what I need, when I need it, including the right people to enrich my life and my business. I hope and pray that I can always be open to receiving positive energy from the source and sharing what I can with others. If I can do this I will be satisfied, and that’s why I share my personal spiritual beliefs on my business page, because without them there would be no business.

Peace and love to all who have read this far!!

– Diane

The face behind the business.