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Create Magazine 1

Contents Get your new business on the right track


Take control and dive into entrepreneurship


Investing in you


6 questions you must ask before you hire a designer


The top 4 website mistakes that could cost you business


Marketing tips to get your business out there


Discover the secret to a fantastic opt-in


Tips to unleash your inner creativity


Stop stressing out! 7 ways to de-stress


50 Facebook posts for those days when you have zero inspiration


5 steps to creating a workspace you love


De-clutter your way to productivity


Healthy habits that will help you loose that computer desk bum


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Welcome Welcome to the first issue of Create magazine. Whether you are thinking about starting a business or you have an existing business, I hope you find the information in this online magazine useful. Issue one is packed full of articles that I have put together. I have covered a range of topics that as a small business solopreneur I hope you are interested in reading. These include getting your business on the right track, getting creative, websites and marketing and even tips to de-stress, plus more.

A little about me I am a graphic designer with over 16 years experience. The majority of that time I have worked in publishing and the design of a range of magazines. Through my business Alluring Designs I mainly work with small businesses on their branding and required design products.

How this magazine came about I wanted to create a product that I could offer visitors to my website so that they could get something out of it — I love helping people get started or build their business and want to help whether they use my services or not. One day I was hit with the idea to use my skills in publishing to create a magazine for small businesses that contained tips and advice that they could put to use in their own businesses. I get a chance to have creative control and get information out there, while readers get something of value for free. Everyone wins.

The future All things need to start somewhere and I have many plans for the future of this magazine and would love your feedback and involvement. My plan at this stage is to release a new issue every six months if the first issue is a success. I would also like to include other businesses that specialise in different fields to offer more value to the reader. So, if you have any comments (good or bad) I would love your feedback as it will help me to determine the future direction of this magazine. Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to give me your feedback via any of the methods opposite.

Teresa xo

Email: Website: Facebook: Create Magazine 3

Get your new business on the right track 4 Create Magazine

You have a killer business idea, YOU want to earn extra income; YOU are tired of working hard for someone else and want to be your own boss; you want to choose your own hours; and you don’t want to send the kids to child care ... If this sounds like you, you are probably ready to start your own business. So, where do you begin? I’m going to talk you through a basic guide of business essentials to get you on the right track. There are a few boring business things you need to do first. Obtain an ABN and register a business name (Australian residents). You will also need to register a domain name. Once you have these essentials sorted it is time to do your research.

Research and determine the base of your business You need to establish what your business is, who you are targeting, what you will charge. You also need to determine what kind of business you are going to have and where you want it to go in the future. Is it an online only business? Is it a bricks and mortar store? Are you going to aim at the local market or world-wide? How do you want it to grow in the future? Are you dreaming of a large operation with 30 employees or do you just want to keep it small scale and run the business yourself and contract out a few things to free up your time?

Build your brand This is sooooo important. What is a brand? A look for your business that is going to portray the image you want to achieve and appeal to your target. This is where a professional graphic designer is essential. ‘Why’ you ask? Because they have the experience and training. Plus you MUST look professional. At the very least if you want to go it alone you need to get some training and understand the basic principles and do’s and don’t’s. Logo The base for your brand. Everything follows on and matches to this. It has to suit your business and its image. It has to appeal to your target market and be recognisable.

Business cards A big promotion tool (not so essential if you have an online business). They must look professional and have a good quality print. Printing on cardboard on your home printer is not going to cut it. Letterhead You need a letterhead for invoicing, quotes, introduction letters etc. A professional set up in a Word Doc is fine. You can type in your required info and save as a pdf and email off. Easy. Facebook cover image Your brand needs to continue through all aspects and your cover image should reflect this. For some businesses a photo might be enough (if you are a photographer or stylist) otherwise you need a cover image that is going to display who you are and what you do. It may contain multiple images of products, dot points of your services, even your catch phrase or website. Flyers If you are targeting your local market flyers can be a great idea. It may be appropriate to have a letter box drop or maybe they could be on the counter of related businesses or service clubs. Again it must look professional and if it is to work well I suggest it contains a call to action. It must have a reason for customers to contact you immediately — it could be a special offer or it may be season related. Website In the digital age it is important to have a web presence. Whether you hire a professional or go it alone it has to again fit in with your brand. There are many create-your-own websites out there (I recommend Wix and Weebly) that allow you to create a great looking website. I do recommend you pay the extra small fee to have your own domain and remove their branding — your website might be cheap but you don’t want your business to look cheap. Now you have the base and look for your business sorted you are ready to get out there and start marketing and drumming up those customers. Create Magazine 5

Did you know that from only 2x payments of $225 I can work with you personally to build a logo design and brand base for your business that you will be 100% happy with?

Join me in the

Biz Brand Blitz For all the details visit

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Take control and dive into

entrepreneurship Ladies and gentlemen. It is time to get empowered. It is time to join the revolution and take control of our lives, career and finances. The latest phenomenon sweeping the online world is entrepreneurship. It is about following your dreams and going for it.

Want to know more? Are you intrigued? I was and started researching… It grabbed me hook, line and sinker. Here’s the thing. We are stuck in these patterns and jobs we don’t like and it’s time we asked why? Who said we need to be stuck in a 9 to 5 job doing what someone else tells us? Who said we have to work our rear ends off to earn someone else the big bucks? Who said we have to play by these rules? Through entrepreneurship we can break these moulds. We can actually do what we want to do. We can live the life we want.

I went on the hunt. Eager to soak up any information I could find.

practice what they preach. They are all successful entrepreneurs. I have recently invested in myself and my business and taken up some of these offerings. I have to tell you, it was worth it. The knowledge I have gained has been so valuable and I’ve made some big changes to my own business that are starting to pay off. The teachings that they all have in common is the fact that they want you to know that anyone can do it. Anyone who is willing to have a go can build a business and earn an income. Think about your talents, passions and special gifts. How can you put them to use to help others and earn a living? How can you build on your existing business and turn it around to earn you a fantastic income? Think outside of the box and let your imagination run wild. Be willing to put in the work and you will see the benefits.

I stumbled across people like Marie Forleo, Laura Roeder, Denise Duffield Thomas, Leonie Dawson and more. All offer their own talents through online courses, emails, ebooks, videos, podcasts and more.

Whether you are a stay at home mum looking to earn an extra income, someone who is tired of working for someone else, or you just know you are destined for bigger things, there are thousands of people like you across the globe who are embracing this revolution. And are being successful at it too.

The online world is huge and there is truck loads of valuable information to help you build your own successful business. These people all

People, there is a whole big online world out there. So just go for it. What have you got to loose? Create Magazine 7


Investing in 8 Create Magazine

IMAGINE HAvING YOuR OWN THRIvING BuSINESS THAT EARNS YOu A SOlID INCOME AND YOu CAN lIvE vERY COMFORTABlY… That is every business owners dream. Hell, it is my dream! I’m going to share with you a valuable piece of advice that I believe was the game changer for me and the step-up I needed to make to take my business to the next level. I heard this sentence (or something along these lines) somewhere and it completely changed the way I thought about my business. “You can’t expect people to invest in your business if you won’t invest in it yourself”. So true. I expect people to trust me that I can help them in their business through my area of expertise. I want them to give up their hard earned cash too so I can help them in one aspect of their business but I didn’t really think about the other aspects. There are so many areas to a business. Why wouldn’t you pay professionals to help you through all the different areas so you can benefit from their expertise and get it right? I invested. I decided to invest in some training so that I could learn what other people specialised in. I learnt from their experience and skills. I learnt more in four months about growing a business than I had in the three years I was in business prior because I invested in myself. I have learnt that investing in your business is a step to growing and the more you invest the more you learn and grow. I will keep investing and I will keep learning and growing. Cutting corners and doing things yourself is not the answer in the long run. You might be saving a few dollars now but are you getting the most out of it? Even by investing in some training so you can do it yourself you are getting the benefit of the experts knowledge. They can pass onto you what they have learnt so you do it right from the start. They have already done the experimenting and know what works. Look at different areas of your business including branding, website, marketing and copy writing. Ask yourself these questions: is this a strength area for me? if not, did i invest in this area to begin with? can it be improved? Do i need to invest in this area now? Don’t be afraid to invest in areas that are not your expertise. Don’t let the cost scare you because you will certainly make it back if you invest in the right people and you put in the work you need to do — plus you can claim it on your tax return!

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6 questions you must ask before you hire a designer. You have established that you need to hire a designer for your new business branding, your latest project or for the product you have been putting off. The problem is that there are so many graphic design businesses and freelancers out there you don’t know who you should work with.

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Here are six questions you need to ask yourself (and the designer) before you jump in and hire them.

1. Check out their folio Do they have a broad range of styles? This will determine whether they are adaptable or just stick to the one look (if that one look doesn’t fit in with what you want move on). If you can see that they are not boxed in to one style and like the work they have done then that is a positive. They could also be a good fit if you can see samples of work they have done for businesses similar to yours because they obviously know the needs already.

2. Are they experienced? Look at how long they have been in the industry — the longer they have been around it’s pretty obvious they have more experience. But also keep in mind if they have been around too long they may be boxed into one style (folio is important here). Have they had much experience in designing for your industry? Have they had much experience in designing the product you require? One thing to keep in mind is that experience will most likely cost you more than someone fresh out of study — which brings me onto the next question …

3. What will it cost me? If you don’t have money to throw around (which, let’s face it, most of us don’t) I recommend you get a set rate. What you are willing to pay depends on your budget, the quality and experience you are looking for and also the product you require. If you agree to an hourly rate you might want to find out the process and rough estimate of time this person normally takes to work on the product you require. Every designer is different and what takes one person one hour, another might spend three hours.

4. What are their turnaround times? Are they going to take a week to get a change back to you? If so does that fit with your time lines? Or maybe you might be so excited about this new product and eager to get it out there so you need someone who is going to make it a priority and get it to you asap? Think about your needs and what you want and see if they can honestly and realistically fit in with that.

5. What if I don’t’ like the design? You need to know what will happen in this instance. Will they charge you extra to make alterations or new designs if you don’t like what they have come up with? Or will they provide new designs and alterations at no extra cost? You need to know up front and if they will charge you extra you need to factor that into your budget because no matter how good they are the reality is that you most likely will want to change something from their original design.

6. Who owns the design? Can you do what you want with it? Do they send you the final files for your own use? This is especially important if you are having a logo designed — do you get the files so you can use them down the track for signage, t-shirts etc? I highly recommend you own your own logo files because you will need them, other things such as a business card or letterhead design are not so important.

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Create your own ebook that looks professional

Work with me to create the template base for your ebook that you can then update or use to create new ebooks yourself. I guarantee you will be 100% happy with the final design — I will make as many changes as needed until you LOVE it!

Only $189 or 2x payments of $98 For all the details and to order now visit

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The top 4 website mistakes that could cost you business. You have a website to bring you business right? Well what if your website is actually turning away business? I’m going to show you some common website mistakes and SHOW you how you can easily fix them.


It doesn’t clearly tell them what you do You know what you do and you are most likely writing the content for your website but have you sat down with a clear mind and actually looked properly at your website? If you didn’t know your business, would you easily be able to tell what products or services you are offering? You have a matter of seconds to reel in readers so it needs to be clear and to the point if you have any chance of hooking that line. Fix: Ask five friends who are not 100% clear about what you do to have a look at your website and give their honest feedback about what you do. If the results are not in your favour you need to re-design your home page.


Too much content As mentioned in the last point there is only a matter of seconds to grab them so if they need to read through big slabs of text it isn’t going to happen — large amounts of copy and too much to read is an instant turn-off. Fix: Re-write your copy and keep it as short and to the point as possible. Use dot-points and break-out important sentences to break up copy. Cut any content that isn’t necessary to you selling your product/service to your target.

3. 4.

Too many clicks If customers have to click too many different places to view your products they are going to get tired of it. Keep clicks to a minimum and keep the layout simple. Fix: This ties in with too much content. Remove anything that is unnecessary and bundle together what you can to eliminate the need to click too many times to get to a product or other information pages.

No opt-in I want to know more but where do I sign up? If you have no opt-in you are loosing potential customers. If they leave without giving you their email address they are probably gone forever. Have clear opt-in’s in multiple places on your website (at least one per page minimum) but don’t over do it. If you want to capture their details the best way is to give them something such as an ebook in exchange for their details. Fix: Create an incentive that you can add with your opt-in and add to your website. Make sure you follow up your opt-in with regular contact through emails. Now it’s time for you take action and get your website up to scratch before anymore customers slip through your fingers.

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Marketing tips to get your business out there YOu HAvE A BuSINESS. YOu HAvE A GREAT PRODuCT, WEBSITE, NEWSlETTER AND SOCIAl MEDIA ACCOuNTS BuT YOu ARE STRuGGlING TO GET FOuND ... YOu NEED TO GET SERIOuS ABOuT MARkETING. You can’t expect that customers are magically going to appear. You need to get your name out there. There are so many different avenues including, online marketing, offline marketing and social media marketing. I’m going to share with you a few ideas that you can do to widen your reach and help people find out that you even exist.

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Attend networking events. Get out and mingle. Meet other business people in your area and make some handy contacts. Attend trade shows. Put together a stall at a related event in your area. You can promote your business big time with freebies, flyers, sample products, mini sessions and useful information. Again get creative so you stand out from the crowd. Volunteer to an organisation. Volunteer your services to an organisation that is relevant or close to your heart. There may be ways you can incorporate your business — i.e. provide a service and give out a flyer or business cards. You will meet other people and add to your list of contacts as well as giving something back — what goes around comes around! Sponsor a local event or cause. It increases exposure and show’s that you give back to the community. Write a media release. Let the local media know about your product or service and put together a press release. Maybe you could even offer them a giveaway to their readers — it’s a great way to gain exposure to another audience without forking out big dollars for advertising. Search the web for related forums and groups. You may find a community of like-minded business owners who can support each other with advice and business. Start a blog. Put together a blog on your website. It’s a great way to get traffic to your website. Make your posts interesting. You don’t need to keep telling people about your business products either. It is okay to make mention every now and then but don’t make people think you are trying to sell them because they won’t return.

Comment on message boards and blogs. Leave comments on blogs that are related to your website. People will read your comments and if they like what you write they will head over to your website. Freebies. Put together a free sample kit of your product or if your business is service based give a unique product with your branding. Put together some free downloads that contain information sheets or guides. It’s a way of attracting customers to you and gives them incentive to look into your products. Treat your customers like royalty. Yes, they can sometimes be annoying and give you a headache but at the end of the day they are paying for your product or services. Make your customers feel valued and like you would do anything for them (within reason) and they will come back. Go above the call of duty, give them something a little extra, send a thank you card or a little gift with their order, or it could be as simple as wrapping their purchase in pretty paper and tieing a nice ribbon. Make them feel important to your business and they will come back AND recommend you to their friends. The important thing to remember is to listen to your instinct and run with what YOU think YOUR business needs. No one knows it better than you. Some things might not work so well and others might be fantastic. It’s trial and error until you work out the best way to market your business and products. Never stop trying new things and thinking outside of the box.

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I’m going to talk you through a few different options and give you the secret to getting the right opt-in.

THE GOOD OlD EBOOk An oldie but a goodie. So many people have them on their websites so they must be good. Right? I think so. If it is interesting enough they will want it.

vIDEO This is another popular choice. lots of pages are adding a short video series as their opt-in. Some even will give you the first part on sign up and then send the rest in a series of emails.

AuDIO An audio recording is another great

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choice. An mp3 file that can be downloaded is a great alternative if say you have a short meditation or a recording of a live event.

No matter which option you choose you need to get creative. Take a look at your current opt-in. Is it good enough to compel your visitor to click? Is it good enough for them to hand over their email address? So, what’s the secret to having a fantastic opt-in? You need to cover three things. use your strengths, be creative and give them something they can’t refuse. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and look at your opt-in through their eyes.

FREE click here!

If you saw it on someone else’s website would you click? Would you HAvE to have it? Would you tell your friends about it?

Your opt-in isn’t set in stone. You can change it. Put your thinking cap on and see what creative options you can come up with. look at your strength areas and think about how you can utilise them. Also keep in mind the opt-ins that grab your details — what do you like about them? Here’s an example: I put together what I thought was a great opt-in but I soon discovered visitors didn’t think the same. I thought people would love to download it but very few actually did. I knew I had to do something different and I didn’t want an ordinary ebook. Then one day it

hit me. I design a number of magazine publications for a living — why don’t I create my own filled with lots of info to help other businesses? (A tick for using my strengths). A magazine is something different. (A tick for being creative and outside of the norm). And people like reading magazines. (And here YOu are right now reading it — tick again!).

So get your thinking cap on and create that fantastic opt-in that no one can refuse. Want to share? Head over to my Facebook page and let me know about your great opt-in so I can check it out

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Need new products designed for your biz?

Logo design


Business cards

Web, email and social media banners

Letterhead/ information sheets


Check out the Biz Products page for all the details

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Tips to unleash your inner


GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE Push your limits and don’t worry about what other people will think of your new idea, product or project. Do things you haven’t done before because you didn’t think you could do it. Never painted but always wanted to try? Buy some paints, a canvas and brushes and do it. Want to change a piece of furniture in your home but scared you might wreck it? Do it. Always wanted to make a video for your business website but been too scared you will look silly? just do it. What have you got to loose? You have more to loose by not trying. Don’t be scared about what people will think.

LOOK FOR INSPIRATION It isn’t about stealing. It is more about seeing what other people do and sparking some ideas of what you can do — differently. Search the internet, buy magazines, watch television etc. Ever been searching the internet and seen something that sparked a thought process that lead to a great idea for your business or even a project for your home? Search for inspiration and it will come.

GET OUT OF ROUTINE If you keep doing the same old things you are

going to get the same old. Change things up a little. Don’t get stuck doing the same things, at the same time, all the time. A change is as good as a holiday and could lead you to that thing that sparks your next great idea.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS Turn off the television, phone and anything else that can distract you. Get in the zone and focus. I personally like to play some relaxation music, light a scented candle and tune out. Ever been working on a great idea and realised you have lost an hour or two of your time? That is getting in the zone. It’s a great feeling when you have a fantastic idea, you are excited, you have no distractions and can just get it out.

GET GROUNDED Not sure what being grounded means? Your energy isn’t drifting off and is planted firmly in your body and you are in the present. Some ways to ground yourself are going for a walk in nature, gardening, rubbing your feet in the dirt, lying on the grass or relaxing with a grounding meditation. So, there are no excuses. let your inner creator come out and grace the world with those gifts you have. Create Magazine 19


stressing out! 7 ways to de-stress

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Juggling your own business, family and other commitments can cause anyone stress. When things don’t go to plan it is so easy to fly off the handle, panic, worry and even feel your blood pressure rise (trust me I’ve had this problem in the past). But you can handle stressful situations and get through them with ease. I’m going to give you seven tips to help you beat stress.

1. Laugh They say laughter is the best medicine. Laughter makes us feel good. Find the funny side of your situation. Or if that seems impossible, do something that makes you laugh and forget about it. No point being grumpy and angry, it won’t help the situation.

2. Exercise Yeah I used to be one of those people who hated exercise. But do you know what? Now that I regularly exercise I feel so much better and what better way to de-stress after a bad day than to pull on the boxing gloves and take out your frustrations? Even a good run on the treadmill can help you relieve that tension.

3. Fresh air When it all gets a bit much give yourself a break and get some fresh air. Head out in the sunshine and go for a walk or sit in a park and clear your head.

4. Meditate Regular meditation has so many good effects on your body. It can help you feel calm, relaxed and feel emotionally balanced. Meditation is

also said to have positive effects on immunity, fertility, blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation. Grab a relaxation CD or guided meditation and find a quiet place and switch off.

5. Massage What better way to de-stress than a nice long relaxation massage. I actually even find a non-relaxation massage helps — the deep tissue kind where you nearly jump off the table because your knots are getting a thorough going over and untangle.

6. Do what you love Leave the stress behind and do something you love. Whether it is going to the park with the kids, lunch with the girls, or curling up on the couch with a blanket and gossip mag. Make sure you make the time to feed your soul.

7. Think positive It does help. When you get up in the morning don’t think that the day ahead is going to be a bad day. Think about all the great things you have to look forward to. When a stressful situation arises keep the positive thoughts going. Look on the bright side — you are still alive and your situation could be a lot worse. And finally look at the situation as a lesson and what you can learn from it for next time. So, stay healthy, positive and look after yourself. Don’t make unhealthy choices to deal with your stress such as smoking, alcohol or overeating. It isn’t going to help you in the long run. Create Magazine 21

50 Facebook posts for those days when you have ZERO inspiration It is important to keep your Facebook page active and keep your fans engaged so your posts show up in their newsfeeds. Sometimes the creative juices and ideas are just not flowing. Here is a swipe file of status updates you can use in those instances. Use these ideas below and add your personal touch to personalise it to your product or page. Remember, the aim is to get people engaged and commenting and liking your posts so that your posts get more exposure. Ask for peoples opinion, get them to answer a question or ‘like’ your status, ask for ideas and get them to tag themselves, their business or friends. Get creative.

My favourite flavour is __________ My favourite phone app is __________

Positive quotes One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day Believe you can and you will Don’t forget to be awesome Look at the bright side, at least Mondays only happen once a week Be so good they can’t ignore you

Random discussion topics Would you rather __________ or __________

Fill in the blanks

If you could __________ would you? Click ‘like’ if you can’t wait for the weekend!

This weekend I’m going to _______

How many coffees a day is enough?

My favourite colour is __________ My favourite food is __________

If you could have any job in the world what would it be?

My dream holiday location is __________

Do you like to sing in the shower?

My dream job is __________

What is your favourite colour?

If I could be anywhere in the world right now it would be _________

Do you dance crazy when no one is looking?

If there was a house chore I never had to do again it would be __________ My favourite way to relax after a busy day is __________ 22 Create Magazine

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? What inspires you in your business? What do you do to get your morning started out right?

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? If you had three wishes what would they be? When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Creative activities are not only fun they can also have a positive influence on your health and brain power. Share your favourite creative activity. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Are you addicted to Facebook? How many times a day do you check your Facebook account? What is the best compliment you have ever received? What have you done today to make someone laugh? If someone famous had to play you in a movie who would it be?

FAMOuS quOTES Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value — Albert Einstein life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more — Tony Robbins No matter what the situation, remind yourself “I have a choice.” — Deepak Chopra I am the greatest, I said that even before I

knew I was — Muhammad Ali The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them — unknown The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting — Walt Disney The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude — Oprah Winfrey Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve — Napoleon Hill So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about — Marilyn Monroe Believe you can and you’re halfway there — Theodore Roosevelt How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world — Anne Frank Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions — Dalai lama Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” — Audrey Hepburn I would rather die of passion than of boredom — vincent van Gogh A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new — Albert Einstein Create Magazine 23

5 STEPS TO creating a workspace

you love

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Creating a workspace that you love to be in is essential for creativity and productivity. Everyone wants a great looking office but sometimes funds are a little tight — especially if you are just starting out in business.

I’m going to share with you some tips to creating a great looking space that you will enjoy working in — and you can do it on a budget.

Step one: Choose a colour theme Keep in mind the influence the colour has on your feelings. Different colours invoke different emotions. Choose a colour that makes you feel good and you enjoy being around.

Step two: Establish what you want to use the space for Is it purely a space where you will sit at your computer? Or do you plan to use the room for other purposes?

Step three: Get together the main pieces of furniture If you need some extra pieces try secondhand stores. You might be able to pick up a bargain that you can revive with some paint. Desks, tables, shelves and even filing cabinets can be easily rejuvenated to suit your style.

Step four: Gather your decorator items Think creatively and utilise secondhand finds. You can even make items such as wall art yourself — frame funky posters; cover canvases with fabric; or splash some paint in your colour theme on a canvas.

Step five: Putting it all together — the fun part Have some fun and play around with different combinations. Think about items you will need in reach, where you will store things and what you want to surround yourself with while you are in your creative zone.

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My fave office decorator finds . . .

Deer head: lamp:



Floor rug:

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Canvas print:




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your way to productivity If you find yourself sitting at your computer in a mess with chaos all around you it is time to get organised and de-clutter. A crazy messy desk is not productive. It is hard to find items, things get missed and it is distracting. A clean, well organised desk is like a breath of fresh air — it is a nice working environment, it is easy to find what you need and you enjoy sitting there when it all looks pretty. So, if you are not Sady the Cleaning Lady and tidiness isn’t your strong point it might be a little overwhelming to declutter. Here is a checklist to help you. There are no excuses, clear the clutter, get organised and increase productivity today. m Clear your desk of everything. m Sort paper work into piles — ‘to bin’, ‘to file’, or ‘other storage’ options. m Clean out files — get rid of old paperwork that isn’t needed to make room for the new. m Throw out or shred what isn’t needed. m Grab different sized storage boxes for different items — paperwork, stationery, CD’s etc. m Find places for your paperwork. m Clean out drawers — use small storage boxes for your stationery drawer to keep items together and neat. m Clear walls. m Grab a pinboard and use it for the items you want to keep handy or for an inspiration board of things you like. m Get an in-tray — use it for somewhere to store current pressing items or items you haven’t got around to filing. m Clean up your computer — sort through and organise files, back up and archive items you don’t need to use. Delete what isn’t important. Also clean out your emails.

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Tips: Be ruthless with your binning — if you haven’t used it in the last year consider throwing it away. Make a rule not to leave any papers on your desk. Empty your bin weekly (on bin night) so it doesn’t pile up and overflow. Use magazine holders, paper files etc to store items and clearly label them. Store items you use regularly in arms reach — anything else can be stored neatly in pretty labelled boxes. Keep a basket nearby to throw those little items in that you don’t know what to do with — that way your stationery drawer will stay tidy. Spend the first five minutes or last five minutes of the day tidying up and getting your desk in order. Dust and clean with cleaning products once a week.

My fave organising finds . . .

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Healthy habits

that will help you loose that computer desk bum Yes , you know you need to be healthy and eat well. You know you need to exercise and get active. But you don’t have time, you are confused by all these diets out there and what exercise you should do. I’m hearing you. I was there. I was happy plodding along eating what I wanted, going for a walk when I felt like it and just feeling blah. I turned it around and I’m going to show you what I learnt and how you can be healthy without the stress of watching every bite you put in your mouth or going to the gym every day.

Step one: Cut the sugar Yep. Cut. It. Out … well mostly anyway. I was having three teaspoons of sugar before I even started working. Two in my coffee and one on my cereal — yes on my weetbix. Stop adding sugar, there is already so much sugar in all our food. Fix the sweet tooth cravings with fruit. I no longer drink softdrink (I have soda water with lemon if I feel like a bit of fiz) and I don’t actually miss it. And sugar in my coffee (and added to my cereal) is now a thing of the past.

Step two: Change the way you eat Make sure you have regular (healthy) snacks and try to include some form of protein, it will keep

you fuller for longer. Protein sources include meat, fish, yoghurt, cottage cheese, lentils, eggs, almonds, quinoa, avocado, oats, spinach and hommus. Here is what I eat on a typical (good) day: Breakfast: Cereal (Weetbix, oats or muesli). Mid morning snack: Homemade muesli bar (I’ve included the recipe on the following page). Lunch: Cruskits with cottage cheese (I prefer flavoured varieties), spinach and tomato and a piece of fruit. On cold winter days I will add a cuppa soup or have a toasted tuna sandwich on brown, high fibre bread. Afternoon snack: Yoghurt and fruit. Dinner: Some kind of meat, quiche or brown rice dish with veggies and I try to include a salad. A typical meal in summer might be a zucchini slice with a nice big salad. Winter might be a beef stir-fry with brown rice or quinoa with avocado and prawns. Use plenty of olive oil and don’t starve yourself. You need to eat regularly to loose weight. 

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I was pretty strict with my eating for about the first three months. Now I’m in a maintenance stage so if I want to indulge I do — I just try to reserve it for weekends and be ‘good’ during the week.

Step three: Exercise Yes we do need to get off those butts and exercise. But do you know what? Once you start and you feel the difference in your energy and your shape starts to change it does become more enjoyable. I actually do enjoy exercising now — even though sometimes I need to push through the resistance to get out there. I discovered that you don’t need to exercise for hours to get results. In fact I just spend 30 minutes about three times a week and take the dog for a few short walks. Seriously, I am in and out of my local 24 hour gym in 30 minutes. I alternate three short bursts of cardio (three to five minutes) with three sets of hand weights, squats, lunges, pushups and sit ups (I do change the exercises and cardio around so my body doesn’t’ get too used to the same things). I might also change one of my exercise days with a 30 minute virtual bike class at the gym. If I can’t be bothered going to the gym I do the same thing at home with hand weights and sprints or skipping for my cardio. 32 Create Magazine

Step four: Drink water I’m sure you have heard it all before how drinking lots of water is good for you, so I am not going to go into all of the details. This is my downfall but I am determined to get this rectified so that it becomes natural and not a thing I need to continually work on.

Step five: Stretch and move Most of us spend our days chained to a desk. I was spending a fortune on massages to fix my sore neck and back. I found exercising helped but also the best thing was to stretch. Stretching of neck and back muscles while I’m a the computer a couple of times a day have helped me like you wouldn’t believe. Watching your posture, getting up and moving and stretching your muscles all aid in helping you feel good and being happy and healthy. So there you have it. I wasn’t a large person to start with but dropping three kilograms, eating foods that are great for me and regular exercise have helped me feel great. And do you know what? I do fall off the wagon and over indulge but it is limited and mostly when there is a special occasion or event… or if I just feel like treating myself. I don’t watch every single thing that goes into my mouth but I do make better choices most of the time.

Muesli slice – 3 cups of low-fat muesli – 1/2 cup LSA (ground linseed, almonds and sunflower seeds) – 3 eggs – 2 tbsp chia seeds

Quick cookies

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 2 large bananas

–1/4 cup honey

– 1 cup quick-cooking oats

Preheat oven to 160ºC. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until mixed through. Spoon into baking tin lined with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes until golden.

– 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cut into portions and store in an airtight container in fridge. Tip: I usually make this at the start of the week and freeze half of it into snack size portions for the following weeks morning snacks.

– 1/2 grated Granny Smith apple Preheat oven to 180ºC. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until mixed through. Shape into balls and place on a baking pan covered with baking paper. Press into a disc shape. Bake for 12 minutes. Store these in the fridge in an airtight container for two to three days.

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Personalised service I love using my imagination and creativity to inspire others and I strive to be genuine and unique. Through Alluring Designs my aim is to pass on my passions to help others in their businesses so that their business can grow and they can achieve their dreams.

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Graphic design services that create, entice and capture your market I offer a full graphic design and printing service. When you work with me you will receive personalised one-on-one service. My guarantee My main priority is YOU, my customer, and my prices include as many changes needed until you are 100% happy with your new design. You can expect a prompt and professional service — I won’t take days to get your proofs to you. How can I help you? Biz Brand Blitz packages: Affordable packages for budding entrepreneurs starting a new business. Biz products: Stationery and essentials for any business.

Contact me today with any questions Create Magazine 35

Thank you for reading issue #1 of Create magazine. I hope you enjoyed it and I would love your feedback. Keep an eye out for issue #2 which promises to be bigger and better with lots of ideas already in the pipeline :)

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Create Magazine  

Helping you create the biz of your dreams. More at

Create Magazine  

Helping you create the biz of your dreams. More at