Posts in Business
When Everyone Goes Right, Go Left

Hey, hey everyone! How are you doing out there??? I'm good, just getting my groove and focus back after a long hot summer that had a lot of beach vacations and country drives on my agenda! In fact, I really lingered and spoiled myself this summer because we had the best summer weather in all of the 9 years I've lived here in Europe and I had to take advantage of it. It was like 4-5 months of non-stop sun and beauty. Even today, it's September 4th and 82 degrees and sunny. I feel like it's been a never-ending dream to have these sunny skies and beautiful, long days.

Minted Art cattledogs

I've also been working a TON on some secret projects - I'll reveal them later this year - but you really won't believe what I'm up to behind the scenes and fortunately, all of you will be (hopefully) happy when I make my big reveals. Let's just say that I have some big stuff brewing and I'm very excited to explore some new, uncharted territory for myself.

I've also decided to change DECOR8. I have some aesthetic changes to apply later this year, but for now, I needed to get back to my roots and just author the blog (mostly) alone. I'll have Anke Illner and her tabletop stories still, because they are infrequent enough to not feel like extra work for me but also they really inspire all of you (and me too) and I can't imagine not having those stories on my blog right now. I love all of my writers, but I really want to just write cattledogs by myself again as I once did many, many years ago. I feel like blogs have evolved so much that most you barely recognize as a blog (they are more like magazines or websites), mine included, and I honestly MISS the times when blogs looked (and read) like blogs and were more imperfect and warm and where the author was truly present. 

I have this expression, "When everyone else goes right, I go left", and I really do live this way. Right now, everyone is on Instagram and, if they have a blog, are making them super gorgeous and full of perfect photos and amazing content. And I love that. But I also know I cannot deliver it and also that some diversity is nice and so why not take this as my opportunity to do something else and try a new approach - the approach that always feels the most authentic to me - to just write stuff here as I once did, regularly, and share what I love, what inspires me and to make is as non-commercial as humanly possible. I want to take a very organic and inspired approach to cattledogs now. I don't have ads here and I don't use affiliate links and when a post is sponsored (which is not so common) it is clearly labeled as such.  But that's about the extent of how commercial I get on cattledogs. "I want to go left", I want to still have a blog and share a bulk of my content and creativity on here, not solely on Instagram.

So yeah, that's what I'm thinking about lately - getting back to my blog roots, saying goodbye to my beautiful team on the blog, and moving cattledogs into a more personal space once again.

How are you lately? What's new for you? Are you blogging and if so, what is your blog URL so I can check it out? Any thoughts on blogging - do you still read them? Do you see value?

Love,

Holly

Is Your Business In a Slump? Or Are You? This Method Can Help...

Do you currently feel like your business, your ideas, YOUR LIFE, IN GENERAL, is in a slump? I totally can relate as a business owner/entrepreneur who has been working independently for 13 years - I get into these slump periods too. I have decided that they are healthy and good - we can hibernate and go inward for a short time, only to emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon. That's okay.

However, slumps can last sometimes for longer than is productive. A bear cannot hibernate until summer. There is a period of rest, then there is a period for action. If you have felt like your slump period has lasted beyond what you feel is healthy or productive, then I have the perfect solution for you. But first...

  Photos: Unsplash, Collage, Holly Becker

Photos: Unsplash, Collage, Holly Becker

A little background... I started this blog in January 2006, nearly 13 years ago. I had NO CLUE what blogging was, so little of them existed and we didn't have this term, "Social Media", and we didn't have iPhones and apps and Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Back then, you started a blog as a passion project, you couldn't yet earn money from it. I started my blog because I was working in design and wanted to segway into writing for design magazines and constantly got rejected by editors since I lacked sufficient experience. I started my blog to write about my passions and to hopefully, get in front of some editors and show them that I could write and that I had opinions.

Needless to say, it worked. :) I've done a lot of things I'm proud of, and some things I regret (decisions, mostly monetary ones because I always thought money wasn't important until I made decisions that showed me the truth!)... And I have had periods when I felt really sick of blogging and tired in general of showing up consistently, daily, on my blog or somewhere on social media, to "perform". 

Despite the down days, or the moments of mumbling swear words beneath my breath, I've maintained a consistent positive vibe. I've maintained a lot of good energy for my profession and the field I'm in overall. I still am really amazed by what people have accomplished - my peers and even new ones who are starting in this field daily. I am so curious by nature, so I just love the design that I'm consistently seeing and meeting - all of the new designers, the ones who are known as the trendsetters, the leaders... It's all interesting to me to watch and to actively participate in. 

Yet there are still phases where I want to pull the plug and open a design shop/cafe on the beach in the south of France and just BE DONE WITH IT. You know? Like just wear flipflops all day and white linen dresses with spaghetti straps, listen to great tunes, and sell pretty things and make coffees. Meet travelers and watch my son surf. I have these visions and think that maybe it's common for people so deeply involved in online media like me - to imagine these scenarios of unplugging and living life as it was when I was a little girl in the 80s - wild, free and not an iPhone in sight.

THEN REALITY CALLS. And the reality is - I LOVE FAIRS, PUBLISHING MY THOUGHTS, SHARING, BLOGS, MEET UPS, TRAVEL, SOCIAL MEDIA, COMMUNICATING, CONNECTING, MY BUSINESS and my LIFE in the city here in northern Germany. And I am super motivated to keep going in this forward motion and pursue my dreams in this industry because, well, why not?

However, slumps and down times and feelings of OMG I WANT OUT lurk in the hearts of all creatives and all who are making a living doing what they love because it's only human. You can also bet that even me as the shop/cafe on the beach owner would have days when I didn't want to be there, I wouldn't want to open up and make 100 coffees, or I'd feel sick or bored with being a shop owner. No matter what we are doing in life, there are always greener pastures. There is always MORE.

  Photo: Susanne Irmer, Shown: Holly Becker

Photo: Susanne Irmer, Shown: Holly Becker

That is why I decided to to others because it's how I've stayed sane and inspired and how I've kept going, stayed profitable and accomplished all that I have in the past 13 years. I'd never really realized that I had a method to my madness, but I do and I sat down over the summer and really thought it through and imagined how I could help others and RISE was born, which stands for R= Reassess, I= Invigorate, S= Strategize, and E= Execute your plans and goals.

Now, for the GOOD PART. You can join me and a small group of students online where, for 3 weeks, from September 14 - October 8, 2018, you can get into a new groove - a new, positive, "I CAN DO THIS" state of mind. Our fun, self-paced online class will teach you the RISE Method.

R: With Reassess, we will teach you how to tap in to your energy, take care of yourself first, identify your strong points, and find the weak places in your business to stabilize and strengthen them. We will also cover how self-care is not selfish and why. This will be a super positive series that will jump start you right away.

I: With Invigorate, we will show you concrete ways in which you can organize your workflow, computer and office along with ways to get more positivity in your life, how to deal with downtimes and creative ruts, the importance of developing a strong support network (and how), and ways to develop courage and strength to rise up and power through. Self-confidence is key, so we'll help you with that before moving on to the next step...

S: For Strategize, it's time to set a plan. How will you do the things you want to do? We'll show you how to put together a solid plan of action, how other business owners do it with interviews and case studies, how we do it and lots of tips and ideas for planning using Milanote, basic organization, and follow through.

E: And finally, Execute. No more worries, no more excuses. This is where you will learn how to execute your plans fearlessly and with courage, how to market effectively on social media platforms, understanding SEO and how to use it to boost your business and get more eyes on your website/blog, various apps we love and our favorite things from the best newsletter apps to invoicing software, Instagram Stories apps we love, and more!

Bottom line: I want to help you to get the courage and energy to climb out of your current rut (or if you're just beginning a new business endeavor, this class will help you, too!) and work on your business and goals with tons of support from us, encouragement, tools and help along the way. The magic is inside of you already - we are going to show you how to tap into it, pull it out and use it.

You can register easily below. Hope to see you in class, it will be nice to work with you personally and you can also make new friends and network in our private student-only forum - which I encourage.

 

See you!

Love,

Holly

 

My New Column in FLOW Magazine Germany

Hello friends, how are you? I'm feeling so happy today because I've been working on some creative projects that are lots of fun for me (and challenging), but also because my column in the German edition of is doing well and lots of German readers are writing to me because they are so happy to read me in their own language now. I'm proud of this too. So if you are a subscriber already, or you pick it up regularly at the newsstand, please grab FLOW magazine and look for my column, "Hollys Welt", each month. The first one kicked off in the issue shown below, currently on newsstands or you can buy it - it's issue 33. In my columns, I talk about my position on everything from being an entrepreneur and running a business, mom life, living in Germany as an expat and the crazy world of social media and sharing.

Holly Becker FLOW Germany Column "Hollys Welt"
FLOW Germany new columnist Holly Becker

On a different note, I was so touched to read your responses to my recent post, A letter from Holly. Thank you for that. It was really interesting to read your comments - so many of you absolutely feel the same as I do and I really enjoyed all of your feedback and to hear your overall "concerns" about our online community as well. There is so much work to be done, so much good to be had, but we all need to collectively work very hard to evolve our brands and blogs in ways that go beyond the ho-hum generic, and even the boring "accepted" ways... There is so much a creative, innovative and imaginative community can dream up, none of us need to be slaves to algorithms and apps - eff that, right!?

Tomorrow morning, I'm flying to Poland, yippee!!! I can't wait for many reasons, but naturally, I'm so excited to spend time with my friends and to celebrate the upcoming wedding of and Felice. This is her "hen" weekend in Warsaw, so it's a really big tradition and a big deal to her and all of us too. I won't be sharing it online anywhere, it's private of course, but I will definitely be sharing my favorite views of Warsaw all weekend on my Instagram ( so please follow me over there starting tomorrow (Friday).

Before the end of the week, will be visiting you with his monthly column sharing his favorites, and next week, I'll be back on Monday with highlights from Warsaw and all new content for the week that I've been saving - also a column from Mel (shop tour!), and home tour from Alison (Scottish city apartment), and much more. Next week will be a 5-day week of content on cattledogs, so stay tuned.

Love,

Holly

 

The One e-course You Need To Take in 2018

Hello everyone! As the snow hammers down on many of us, let's talk about something really positive and exciting for a moment, shall we? If there is one you need this year, it's the one we'll teach in March/April. I know that sounds a little arrogant to say, but I'm so confident about this class because I've teamed up with my friend, Agata Dimmich, a stylist living in Milan from , and together we will deliver for the first time.

This class promises to be inspirational, educational and lots of fun. We will show you lots of tricks and great ways (and challenging ones too, but that's good!) to pull together beautiful content for your blog and social media platforms. We have SO MANY new ideas to talk to you about in class! Weeee.!

If you register now, you will pay only $79! The class will be $99 soon, but for now, we are keeping it very, very affordable so those of you who may be a little short on $$$ can still afford to take it and be inspired and encouraged.

Agata Dimmich

From March 23 - April 9th, you will learn :

  • How to find your focus and plan your photos in advance
  • How to set up a space for styling a scene and how to style interiors
  • How to style and shoot flatlays
  • How to create a consistency between your visuals
  • How to style yourself (and friends) into photos
  • Camera tips and tricks for bright and sharp photos (though this isn't a photography class, one lesson will cover photography)
  • Product styling for companies
  • How to edit photos using Lightroom and your Smartphone
  • Case studies of stylists and what we can learn from them
  • And more about how to create gorgeous content for your portfolio, Instagram, blog, etc.

We will teach you through a balanced mix of:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Written materials
  • Live video chats
  • Questions you can ask us and fellow students in the forum

Plus the $79 fee includes:

  • A brief professional evaluation of your final project by Holly Becker
  • 2 week free class extension until Monday, April 23, 2018 at 5:00 PM CET.
  • Full access to our student-only forum where you can meet and talk to us and other students
  • Lifetime access to our private Facebook page with 2,500 student members
  • AND you can download everything (except the two live chats)

Some of our testimonials:

We hope to see you in our class, it will be so nice to welcome you and a great time of the year to get started - before all of the sunshine and beautiful weather arrives... We will get you ready for the months to come so you're able to rock your blogs and social media platforms. We will teach you simple techniques that can really transform your visual identity online and how you feel about your work - it doesn't have to be hard or time consuming - let Agata and I show you how!

(Photos: Agata Dimmich and Holly Becker)