#Shine Your Light: Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative

Good afternoon!
I am starting up the Shine Your Light Interview series on the blog again. In the past I interviewed Christian author Beth Wiseman for the series, and there are lots of wonderful creative souls coming up. Today’s interview is with kindred Braid Creative co-founder Kathleen Shannon.
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Why did you decide to become a creative business owner and was the greatest struggle that you have overcome on your path to creative entrepreneurship?

I feel like creative entrepreneurship picked me. I didn’t grow up wanting to be an entrepreneur – in fact, I had a job as a senior art director at an ad agency when I started a blog. I was sharing my work and that was attracting really great side gigs. Eventually, I made the leap and haven’t looked back. 

 
The biggest struggle right now is not defining who I am with my work or falling into being a workaholic – it can be hard to do when you love what you do. 

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What steps do you take to increase cash flow and overcome the feast-and-famine cycle that freelancers sometimes go through?


I have never struggled with the feast-or-famine cycle – I take my clients through a process called The Braid Method. I have very clear boundaries and objectives when it comes to my work. I know exactly how long it takes to complete a project from start to finish and I know what I’m willing to do and what I won’t do. So with that, it’s pretty easy to see where a new project fits into that cycle. It means I’m actually saying “no” to a lot of work that comes my way! 

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Do you find e-newsletters or blogging more important for small business owners?

I don’t think it matters. Use the platform you feel most comfortable in – sharing your gifts of knowledge is the most important.

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Who has been your biggest mentor? What did they say to you that inspired you most?


Dr. Brené Brown and her work has been huge in my life. She’s been a client of mine for three years now and is always dropping bite-sized wisdom on me. I believe in blending who we are and what we do but that can create blurry boundaries – so one thing she said to me that has helped tremendously is to create for my fans and not for my critics and to share what is vulnerable, not what is intimate.

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How do you stay organized as a creative business owner? What systems do you have in place?

My Google calendar is everything. I wouldn’t be able to function without it. I schedule everything.

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What song is playing in the background when you are in your creative zone?

Silence! I wish I worked to music but I usually find myself in a completely quiet space tapping away. But I love me some Alt-J, Washed Out, or Kanye. 

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What is your favorite meal that just makes you happy?


Oatmeal. I make it with cinnamon, almond butter, banana, and the trick is whisking two eggs in as it’s cooking. It makes it super creamy and rich. 
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Sum up your life philosophy in one succinct quote that speaks to your heart.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. – Goethe
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Thank you, Kathleen! 🙂
-Amber
You’ll get an ideal day worksheet when you sign up for her newsletter. 🙂

About the author: Cloud9 Design Studio

Cloud9 Design Studio offers soulful photography storytelling sessions, inspirational art, and creative workshops.