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How Does Mighty Ugly Relate to My Business?

Lesson 1 from: Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business

Kim Werker

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Lesson Info

1. How Does Mighty Ugly Relate to My Business?

Lesson Info

How Does Mighty Ugly Relate to My Business?

So when I tell you a little bit about mighty ugly it's ah it's, a bit of it different kind of take on things, and so I want to thank you all for being here for a class that's called ugly it's, not the kind of thing that a lot of people are like. I totally want to do that, and I want to tell you a little bit about what mighty ugly is, where the idea came from and what we're going to do today. So mighty ugly for me is an opportunity to look at the parts of creativity and specifically today we'll talk about business that are not the parts we usually like to look at, so all of us make things in, one way or another. That's, why you're here most of us, I imagine the vast majority of us, if not all of us, make things for work. It's we work with clients who make services, or we make products that we sell mighty ugly is about not focusing on that perfect product that everybody's going to want it's not about focusing on how to sell it, right, it's not about focusing on how we ourselves can portr...

ay ourselves in line with our business, it's not about branding it's about the flip side, the parts that might drive us tio succeed but that actually scared the living daylights out of us we're going to look it failure we're going to look at creative block we're gonna look at perfectionism we're going to look at these things that get in the way of us feeling comfortable succeeding and a lot of the things we're going to talk about today are things that are not at the forefront of our minds there not the things that we wake up saying like I've got this problem and I am going to solve it today they're the things that lie dormant deep and dark hunting is in the back of our minds there's going to be like poor show aspect of today on we're going to look in those corners and so it's going to be a hard day it's not going to be like sunshine and roses I'm not goingto sprinkle the litter everywhere and have it be this amazing day where you feel empowered by enthusiasm be but you will end up the day feeling stronger on prepared to take next steps to address actual demons in the back deep dark corners of your mind mighty ugly started for me at a party I worked for about a decade in the crafts industry I was a crow she magazine editor at a magazine called in a reef crash for a couple of years I ran a web site about horses and I was not crafty before that I had not was not like the kid who like, you know, with whatever equivalent of the rainbow loom there was back in the eighties I was not that kid and in my mid twenties learns how to knit and then I learned how to crash a and then I ended up working in this industry and really struggled with like what that meant was I crafty person I liked the idea of being a crafty person like my crafty person friends really knew what they were doing they could like sew buttons and they could like bake brownies and they could do all these things that I totally couldn't do, but I was like, yeah, I worked in craft and I had this really complicated relationship with what that meant for me and one day in two thousand six this was his I don't know if we consider that a long time ago where a short time ago I considered a long time ago, my friend ian threw himself a birthday party and it was a crafty birthday party is what he called it he had fabric scraps and sewing machines this's my kind of party because I am like a newly minted crafty person and this is going to be awesome until I got to the party and realized that I knew had in it and crush a and I didn't know how to say so and people would find out that I wasn't really crafty and I was a big liar and fraud, and I was miserable, and it was like high school, like sitting in the corner of the dance, knowing that no boys wanted to dance, it was horrible, and I sat there and I'm old oped because people would find out that I wasn't actually crafty, I was coming to terms with the fact that it was not actually crafty until I looked to the side and there's this pile of fabric, and it was ugliest sin, I mean, it was upholstery fabric, but who would make furniture in this? It was awful, and I loved it in that way that, like, sometimes you really love ugly shoes, you know, like I loved it, but I didn't know how to sew, and I went back and forth to myself. So finally I was like, you love it because it's ugly makes something ugly out of it, and then it won't matter that it's ugly because you would have done it on purpose, and won't that be something that people won't understand? Right? Like, so okay won't matter if I don't know how to sew it, it won't matter, and so I took that fabric and I made this ugly creature, and it looks like this her name is shoshana and that is the ugly upholstery fabric that I saw, and I appreciate her scarf because she wanted to accessorize, and I discovered this whole process of making was so much fun if I let myself do it instead of sitting in the corner, worrying about doing it wrong and being found out as a fraud, and it was this epiphany for me, and I had so much fun making, and I loved it, and then I started talking to people about it, people that I worked with in the crafts industry, like, you know, we talk so much about making beautiful things, we talk so much about writing patterns so people can do them right and make them perfect, and it will be amazing, but we don't talk about how awesome it can be when we do it wrong. We don't talk about how amazing it can be to make something ugly on purpose. Why don't we do this? And people were like, well, why would we want to do that? I'm like, no, I think there's something here, and it was a few years later that I like riding the bus and I was like, mighty ugly this is what it is it's about finding strength in these things that scare us, it's finding strength in the things that we want to win. Avoid at all costs because if we find strength in them, then they're not scary and they don't hold us back anymore and I started doing a project called mighty ugly. I started holding workshops with craft supplies like you find on your tables today and hopefully at home you've got craft supplies gathered on the corner for a bit and you will do them later. Kanna I just wanted to jump in. You are talking about the folks at home and the craft supplies. Kim has actually created a supply list for the best way for you to take the most out of this class today, so I want to let you know that you can go to the class page. You can get there by clicking on the name of the class right above the video that you're watching and then hit visit class page. If you are a sleepy, you can download a few things actually the workbook, and this is also going to be very valuable for you to get the most out of today as well as that supply list from which we see our studio audience all has here. So thank you, kim, for putting these together and making these free for everyone so that they can follow along and also join us in the chat rooms where russ is in there and we look forward to hearing your stories too thank you thank you all true onda also, if you want to just have a notebook around if you just if your notebook person you don't like following other people's rules I don't like following other people's rules either take whatever kinds of notes that you would like and so that's what that's the mighty ugly story that's where I started focusing on making ugly stuff and I said I do I do workshops we make ugly things on purpose it's a bit of a catharsis I don't like looking at things the way we're supposed to look at them I like looking at things upside down, which is kind of what we're going to do today which brings up our next topic which is how this relates to business. This is not just arts and crafts businesses not popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners businesses not making an ugly doll it somebody's party all of us assume and tell may shake your head at me if I'm wrong are in business we our own creative business we work by ourselves all of us okay? No, not by yourself you have a business partner. Okay? So very small business that one or two people and that means that we do everything and everything rests on us if the product sells it's because we are amazing and if it doesn't it mean to be stuck but it doesn't really but like but there's a lot of pressure that comes with being a solo business person in a creative field and that comes with a lot of feelings that are not unlike the feelings that you feel when you're staring at a pile of craft supplies saying I better not make something ugly out of this I better not make something ugly out of this better not make something ugly out of this because if I do it means that I failed and I'm kind of terrible and I probably should just pack it up and quit and go work at starbucks like everybody else because that's what I need to do right that's the kind of thing I don't know about you but that's what goes through my mind all the time like why are you doing this why are you doing this? You could be doing this delightfully different way why are you making it so hard for yourself? We're going to look at all of those kinds of things as they relate to our business today the thing is that not the I know I need to keep my books better not the like straight up things that you can read your how to start a business book that will tell you what the problems are and how you need to solve them but we're going to look at the things that are not in the books the things that are not the kinds of things you're even really comfortable talking to your, you know, monthly mastermind group about necessarily because they're the things that make you feel like you shouldn't be at the table at all and everybody has those things and that's one of the things that hopefully everybody will get from today is that everybody has those things and we're going to talk about them we're going to name them and at the end of the day you will have a list that you wrote yourself because I don't know what your list should be, but you will have made it yourself and tomorrow you will look at that list and you'll say I know what I'm going to do about this thing and I am not going to feel so gross about it that's the goal for today not to feel so gross tomorrow hopefully that's really, really doable thing on dh I'd love to start out by asking you all to introduce yourselves let's get to know each other we're going to spend a long an intimate day together. You know about me, I'm kim, I'm from vancouver, canada I'm originally from new york it's why I talk faster and louder than the canadians that you know and I like to make ugly things on purpose by also like to knit and crush a I also have formed the habit of making something every day for the heck of it not for work but for myself and that has led to all sorts of things I do till now and draw things and I never used teo and we'll talk about that I think more over the course of the day, but my business is as a writer and editor, I wrote this book make it mighty ugly. I also worked as a freelance editor, mostly with self publishers helping them to make their patterns and books and words clearer and and I do think like teach mighty ugly workshops and I speak of conferences and do things like this, so I have that kind of creative persons freelance cobbled together career stuff and I would love to know was a new one liked start and people from home I'd also love to hear from you if you want a time in via chat, I'm andi sanderlin die right knitting better awesome. Yes, um you from here in seattle, I recognize you from your twitter avatar. My website is untangling dash knots dot com and also run a knitting blogger and sometimes write articles about knitting awesome knitting is your thing. Did you make yourself? Yes, I did. Thank you v neck is the theme of the day like thank you welcome I'm trina hepner with ps photography and trina maria boudoir um I'm based out of a puyallup washington way can be found at ps photography dash video dot com or ps photography on facebook or trina maria boudoir welcome I'm andrea smith's I'm from the sunshine coast seashells and I run my husband and I work together and family counseling business I'll awesome okay you know that's really interesting things tio I'm scared of it don't be scared that's awesome my name is lindsay halls and I'm behind the scenes photographer and I live in half moon bay which is very close to sea shells and but my husband and I are in the process of moving back to think oh mainly for work yeah I'll meet for what you have been talking you know my name is yamada and I region from brazil I leaving vancouver b c I'm a photographer and graphic designer and I have some personal projects that it's on the side but not actually and I have some of the things that I do this just for myself awesome oh god, I'm looking forward to hearing more about that thanks welcome I'm eva spitzer. I'm a fashion designer and artist here in seattle and I recently started my own brand of socks so like fun pattern socks and about a year ago welcome I'm ariel terrorist, I'm from seattle and I actually designed knitted socks, which is we're talking about this before which is kind of funny so totally different side of socks but yes knitting patterns socks awesome my name's charlie king I don't do socks no no no socks today I am I'm a business in a life coach I worked with solar preneurs and entrepreneurs to like look at what the stuff that gets in the way some of the stuff that we're looking at today and I'm really excited to be here it's it's fantastic because it's the thing that I noticed for entrepreneurs and business owners is true for me too is the peace we don't like to look at is the vulnerable piece and it's such a juicy place to come and play and it opens up so many things so excited to be here awesome thanks for being here that is the goal for today and I just wanted to say that I'm a charlie king coaching dot com thank you so kim I wanted to give some chat apps to the folks who are joining us from whole way have your friend vivian in a swell says she is joining us we have actually in nashville who makes screen printed clutch purses welcome we have lori who is from lynn, massachusetts, and she says she works for a paint and decorating small business love to make things and would like to start my own business I'm also doing the hashtag year of making so people might not know what that is. So, do you want to talk about what that is? The year? Yeah, you're making is a project, actually, that my friend miriam started in twenty thirteen she is a knitwear designer on dh she just started putting up photos online and hash tagging them you're making and every day she did this and they weren't like these great it wasn't a photography project, it was just like a pile of knitting on her lap or whatever, and over the course of the year, I was riveted by what she was doing it on the first day of twenty fourteen, not with any planning or anything. I was like, I like the idea of this year of making I was baking cookies, which was uncharacteristically domestic of me at the time, and I was like, I'm going to just tag it, you're making, and if I make something tomorrow, well, then wouldn't it be need to try to make something every day? And I did, and it was awesome and just the act tonight and I gave myself like, no rules other than that doesn't have to be a particular project, it doesn't need to be start to finish, it could be like three stitches of knitting if I'm feeling really gross the end of the day, but it has to be something and that was cool because before that time I was someone who did not finish daily projects like that. So do you know what I mean? You know, there would be like a three hundred sixty five days of self portrait or a selfie challenge or I'm going to doodle every day for a month or you know, they've gone since the dawn of the internet there have been these sort of daily projects and I had never finished one I was someone who did not finish projects like that because I was very undisciplined and I could not follow through and I really believe this about myself, but something about this year long commitment seemed welcoming me instead of daunting. I did not want to challenge myself because I didn't want to have to work hard at it. I just wanted to be able to do it. I actually wanted to do something easy and they did, and I made something every day and around march of that year. So just three months into the twelve months of this project, I suddenly found myself using it as an excuse to do all sorts of things I had never done so from that, you know, that woman at the party that I told you about in two thousand six where I was like, oh, I'm only knitter and across here and I don't know how to say so and people will know that I'm not really crafty suddenly, in addition to doing my usual knitting and crocheting so in which I had learned how to do since two thousand six, I was doing things like taking line, drawing classes online, and I was starting to dabble in watercolor painting, and I was terrible at it, but I didn't care, because at that point time I was really comfortable making ugly things, and I was like trying all sorts of things that I had never done before. I have a friend, who's, a cut paper artist. I bought an exacto knife and I was cutting things out, and it was all sort of stuff that I had never thought to even do, and I did them because I had committed to making something every day, and so I'm doing another year of making now, and I believe that if people purchase the class today, the year of making a book that I had written is a bonus for purchasing the class and it's just sort of a guides to getting started with a year of making with thinking about the things that you make for work for, not work, bouncing them out, looking at what you want to do, more of what you want to get better at, and then just doing it for a year and like the spoiler alert for that is that then you end up still doing it after that, because, like you don't end up a year of making being like, oh my god, that was such a slog. I'm so done with that. I never want to make anything again. You're just like, oh, look at me. I have this habit of making something every day. That's, what you're making a habit factor, I think, is huge, and so yes, like him, said, when you do have choose to purchase this class, to get any time access to not just the class, but you get that year of making you book as well, which is a really, really cool. I checked it out yesterday and it's just really cool, so thank you, kim. Sure, thank you.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Year of Making - E Book
Workshop Supply List
Embrace the Ugly Syllabus
Mighty Ugly Course Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I listened to the entire course. I think that Kim is very inspiring and that she uses stories effectively. I do think that she needs to have the audience wear name tags and use their names when she is talking to them. It helps me the viewer feel a connection with the studio audience. I made my ugly creature. I am a graphic/interior designer. I know that ugly items are needed at times to make things beautiful, so my creature actually looks cute to me. I wished that less time was used on the ugly creature discussions and more time getting to the core of what is holding us back. Designers are visual producers so our work is always under scrutiny, and it is good to see what other designers are fearing, but solutions is what I wanted to get to rather than trying to identify what is holding me back. I hope that future videos by Kim will address the solutions and use less of the ugly theme so as to work on gaining insight as to how to overcome negativity about growing our businesses.


Amazing course, so good that I had to purchase it for further referral. With thanks to Kim Werker and also to the facilitator.

Student Work