There were 12 of us gathered around a farmhouse table on a bright sunny day in Texas.

12 creatives.

12 imaginers.

12 brainstormers.

12 dreamers.

We were small, but mighty.  And for eight hours we laughed and talked and listened and learned and giggled and cried and rejoiced and encouraged and stood in awe of the wonder of it all.

This is our day.  This is our story.  This is our action plan and our mission statement and our opportunity and our future.

And all of you?

You were with us in spirit.  Your encouragement lifted us up.  Your hearts were here.

And so I wanted to share a few glimpses of the day and some of my favorite takeaways we discussed.

Here are five things every entrepreneur should be doing.

1.  Develop a mission statement

You will never know get where you are going if you don’t know where you want to go.

How many businesses are started every single day that don’t have a mission, a purpose, a well-defined goal?

Take a few minutes to brainstorm and answer these questions:

What makes you different?

What makes you unique?

What makes you stand out in a crowd?

Then write it down as a short, concise sentence to build your business around.

2.  Know who your customer is

I know my customer.

I adore her.

I would invite her over for sweet tea and conversation and a Poldark marathon.

The key to growing your business is knowing your customer and then delivering what your customer wants.

If your customers like burlap curtains, don’t talk about clear, acrylic window shades.

If your customers like Hallmark movies, don’t talk about Jurassic Park.

If your customers like fall and Christmas and Thanksgiving decor, don’t ignore that holidays are happening right now under our nose.


I get it.

I am TOTALLY over-simplifying this to make a point.

But truly?  If you take a moment to celebrate your customer…

…they will celebrate you right back.

3.  Develop a marketing plan

I wake up every day with marketing ideas.


Sometimes they are amazing.  And sometimes?  Not so much.

The key is that I’m thinking about my business and how to get new people to discover my books and my products and my blog.

If you don’t work on getting your message out to people who haven’t met you yet, then you’ll never meet new people.

Marketing is a lot like going to a party and introducing yourself.  If you sit in the corner over by the punch, no one will ever discover how amazing you are.

(total aside:  sometimes my marketing plan is as simple as telling the people in the WalMart check-out line about my blog.  Or the produce section.  Whichever comes first.)

4.  Treat your business like a business

It’s easy when you are starting out and the overwhelming joy of working in your pajamas and a messy bun hasn’t worn off yet.


If you are working from home you need business hours.

And timelines.

And to-do lists.

And meeting.

It’s important to wake up every day and go “to work.”  Treating your business as a business instead of a hobby or something you just work on when you get a chance will completely change your entire perspective.

Treat your business with respect and it will treat you right back.

5.  Be who YOU are

The amazing thing about all of us is that there aren’t two of us that are exactly alike.

I have twins who look alike and act alike but in so many ways they are COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

Your business is an extension of YOU.

If it brings you joy?  Introduce it to your audience.

If it is something you find interesting or entertaining or humerous or note-worthy?  Tell your audience about it.

If it’s an idea or a DIY or a new decorating tip or a Hallmark movie or the fact that School House Rock should make a return appearance?  Let your audience know.

If you write a blog or a book or grow a business or create a line of products that you love….

…chances are that your audience will love it, too.

I’ve talked a lot about this journey and this day, but I thought it might be fun if you heard from some of the attendees in their own words, too.

  • “THANK YOU.  THANK YOU for an AMAZING day yesterday!!!  I’m feeling incredibly blessed!  So excited for this new adventure:  Thank you for inspiring and leading me.”
  • “The Inspire Workshop really energized my mind and heart for my business!  Spending the day with Karianne is exciting, fun and just incredible!!  I learned specific ways to boost my business intentionally, encouragement for my heart & ideas for my industry to apply now!   If you are on the fence about attending, just do it!!”
  • “We were a diverse group of 11 women, from ages perhaps 28-60 (hard to tell!  they were all beautiful!) from as far away as New Hampshire, some with established blogs and some aspiring noobs like me.   We were young moms, older moms, business owners, teachers, photographers, graphic artists and entertainment mavens.  To a person, this was a group of truly talented women!  We gathered to learn from Karianne, and she did not disappoint.  What could have been better than Karianne’s ridiculously incredible generosity and teaching?  We were gathered in her beautiful home (even prettier than in her perfect blog photos!) to encourage each other, to learn, laugh, cry, share ideas and genuinely cheer each other on.  And that was the best part:  women coming together to lift each other up, sharing our hearts and our best ideas.  Girl Power!!”

  • There were 12 of us gathered on a bright sunny day in Texas.
  • 12 creatives.
  • 12 imaginers.
  • 12 brainstormers.
  • 12 dreamers.
  • We were small, but mighty.
  • And we dreamed and hoped and imagined and planned and thought WE COULD.
  • And so?
  • WE DID.
  • PS  All the photos in this post were taken by the amazing Emily from Emily Megan Photography.  If you live in the DFW area I cannot recommend her enough.
  • PPS  Please click here for more information on The Inspire Workshop 2019.
  • PPPS  If you are curious about blogging and how to make money and turn it into a business here’s a series I wrote all about that exact topic.
  • See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

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  1. Image for Robbin Robbin

    Looks like an AMAZING DAY!!! Would love to hear more about the food you served. It looks gorgeous. Recipes please ? ? ? ? I just know you and I would be best friends. If I lived in Texas BWAHAHAHA!! God bless you sweet lady for SHARING! There truly is enough success for EVERYBODY TO HAVE SOME!!! Don't hide your gift under a bushel basket. Spread it to the world!!!!

  2. Image for Cheryl Medders Cheryl Medders

    Great post - as always! As a self=employed realtor, I know that all of these topics are important but #4 will make or break you!

  3. Image for Erin Erin

    KariAnne, totally off topic but the pic of your family room, which I have been coveting from afar and for months, is amazing. Please, Please, what is the paint color? I can't find it on the blog. And, as a Marketing Major from way back...absolutely on point! Love you, as always!

  4. Image for Char Char

    This post makes me wish I were an aspiring blogger so I could attend the next workshop! Off topic, where did those lovely dining room drapes come from?

  5. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    That was better than any Haven class! Loved every minute of it. Your off-the-cuff marketing ideas and inspiration are astonishing . How does your brain do that?! I was serious when I said I wanted to put you in my pocket and carry you around all day to pull you out when I needed encouragement. You amaze me!

  6. Image for Terry Cross Terry Cross

    WOW! You have such a gift of encouragement! You make doing the basics better make so much sense! I feel energized and excited to love my brand, my story, my vision for what will bless my AMAZING customers. Thank you for such clarity and love in what you do! Warmest Wags Ever!

  7. Image for Sandi from the Cape Sandi from the Cape

    The best picture is of you on your beautiful porch. I didn't think I was in the business of looking for a business but you are sooooooo inspiring! I haven't even clicked on the part 1 and part 2 at the bottom of your blog, but dinner will have to wait tonight! Thanks girlfriend for being you! xoxoxox

  8. Image for Amy Coffey Amy Coffey

    What an amazing day it was! Full of creative women brainstorming together ways to build our businesses while being encouraged by our fearlesss host! I feel so lucky to have been able to attend and learn from such an amazing woman! Thank you!

  9. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KARIANNE, I am going to make lists of how to tell the world about my blog AND about my French Country Christmas Event held on Saturdays in December. Item #1 on my list was to write this comment so your readers would know I blog at Botanic Bleu about a French-inspired garden, home, and lifestyle located deep in the heart of Texas. #2 on the list is to invite all your readers who live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to visit my eighth annual French Country Christmas Event in my beautiful garden shed/house in my backyard in the countryside. See my blog in November for dates, times, directions. Love you, love your blog, and love your spirit of overflowing encouragement to everyone who meets you. Hope to see you at a north Texas blogger's lunch sometime this holiday season. Judith

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