Friday, 10 May 2013

Make everyday count

Ok. So it's been two whole months since I went to the Big Hearted Business conference. Two months since I promised to tell you all about it. Two months of processing what I took away, working out what it all meant to me, and facing up to some pretty big decisions.

When I first read about the Big Hearted Business conference via this TDF interview, my heart skipped a beat. Firstly, I too am completely enamoured with Clare Bowditch. She is a genuine, talented, beautiful lady and I'm a fan. For those of you who've also seen her play live, you'll know that she has a way of inviting you in. But mostly, it was because in my heart of hearts I'm a creative. I work in a corporate field, I'm pretty good at it too. But fell into it and progressed in this career largely due to my work ethic, and quite honestly, the money helped too. More than a few times over the years, I've wondered what could be possible if only I could spend more time on creative things that truly inspire me.

I knew the conference would be something special but I agonised about whether to go for about a week. It was in Melbourne so I'd have to travel down for it. I'm creative, but can't say I'm an accomplished crafter, maker, singer or artist, would I be way out of my depth? Finally, after listening to me go on and on and on about it, Richard agreed to join me for the trip so I wouldn't feel so intimidated by being interstate alone (BEST husband). At least I could come home to him in the hotel each night and tell him all about it over dinner. I held my breath and registered.

Boy, I'm glad I went. I'm so grateful I got to be there, it was an amazing experience. Not least of which because of the other people I met. Everyone I spoke with was so open to meet and share and support each other. There was a real sense of being a part of something really special.

Clare and her team pulled together a wonderfully balanced two days that included practical right brain business tools and advice, yoga and crafternoon bursts, music, good food and an incredible list of speakers to share their personal experiences with us. Creatives who are doing what they love and have built successful businesses out of it.

Darren Rowse from Problogger shared the story of his trip to Tanzania, I can see why he is such a success, he is a fantastic communicator and a born entrepreneur. I also really loved his philosophy that fundamentally businesses should aim to save the world, to make it better. 

Maybe I've been living under a rock but I didn't know of Melbourne based comedian, Catherine Deveny. I was uninitiated and she blew my hair back with her unapologetic, passionate stance on - just about everything! She spoke to us straight from the heart, about her experiences and lessons learned. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. STAND FOR SOMETHING. INVEST IN YOURSELF. Written in capitals, because that's kind of how she talks. She's right.

Another wonderful discovery was Rachel Power. I found what she had to say really moving and powerful. To give yourself permission to be creative, that creativity connects us to each other, to the planet. That creatives who don't listen to their inner voice wont be truly happy and, it can even make you sick.

"Don't ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman

I mean. That is IT for me right there.

We were lucky enough to have blogger Lucy Feagins from The Design Files speak about some of the secrets to her enormous success. She had loads of fantastic, practical advice for us bloggers. I was inspired to spend more time nurturing my space here, finding time to post more regularly, get to know my community better. Aside from all of that, I just admire her a whole lot. She has an amazing work ethic and drive, she is savvy and so very talented.

Another speaker who was a real treat for me was Pip Lincolne. Blogger, author, editor, columnist, crafter, contributor and general all round generous, kind and amazing woman. If you have not come across her blog or instagram or facebook page, do yourself a favour and check her out. Your life will be sunnier with her in it, I promise you that. I loved her reminder to be on the look out for clues around you, to notice the happy moments that inspire you. Push yourself, be proud, aspire for an interesting life, prioritise your health, your creativity, contribute to the world. She is a real advocate of this emerging 'culture of we' and the shift back to the importance of community, something that I've been thinking / reading ALOT about lately.

Kemi Nekvapil, Jane Martino, Isobel Knowles, Natalie Harker and Clare herself all gave absolutely brilliant sessions too. I'd recommend following the links to find out more about each of them. To learn more about Big Hearted Business, there is a fantastic website and mailer that I'd recommend joining to receive weekly inspiration bombs from 'creative business heroes', you can also sign up for the waiting list for the 2014 BHBC.


That's a fair chunk of words right there! Thanks for bearing with me, it was important to me to record my thought process and inspiration as I stand at this fork in the road in my life. I'll share more about my future plans when the time is right.

But even more importantly, I wanted to share these messages with you. So many of you are creatives too. I really believe in supporting each other, sharing, encouraging and championing (a word?) each others success. Technology makes it possible. Our blogs, our connections are giving us the ability to find freedom in choice. Many of you are already doing it. It's so exciting, don't you think!

Did I mention that I also recorded a track with Clare Bowditch at the end of the conference. A Nick Cave cover, in a beautiful old church with television cameras. Not even joking. Kind of a life-long highlight. I may have mimed some bits but I was a bit emotional so I let Clarebo and the rest of the ensemble get the high notes while I mouthed the words through a big fat teary smile.

This is my BHBC graduation ring, kindly gifted by Polli. It gives me superpowers.

I would LOVE to hear from you on this. Are you doing what your passionate about? Did you find it hard to even know where to start? How did you manage to prioritise YOU amongst all of the other important things?

Belinda x


  1. wowzer, sounds like an inspiring and challenging event. can't wait to hear more about how it's influenced your plans. i stopped work as a teacher when i had my first son. i'm really lucky that we can afford to live on one income (it's a fairly frugal existence). i found it quite a shock going from a busy, very social workplace to being alone with a newborn all day every day. i also missed having a creative outlet, i couldn't go to the open studio that i used pre-kiddos and that was making me feel glum. so i made a home studio in the airing cupboard, it means i can make prints while the baby's asleep. i sell a few (less recently, could it be the recession?), which is great as it gives us a bit of extra money. but most importantly it's something for ME and stops the mummy-fication!

    1. Hi Sian, I love that you've set up a home studio in the airing cupboard! I can so relate to the need to do something that is simply for YOU. It's important. And I think we, generally speaking, as women and mothers can tend to undervalue it, put other things (everything else!) first. I feel like the challenges Rich & I have faced with starting a family have begun to define me, so by allowing myself room to be creative and explore ideas I'll hopefully find a better balance. It will be come months before plans start to take shape but the wheels are in motion. Exciting but daunting at the same time! Belinda x

  2. Belinda, how exciting. I hadn't heard about all of this until you mentioned it in a post a while ago. I went looking and have been enjoying the inspiration bombs. It sounds so very inspiring. I can't wait to here about your plans. Go, lady!!!

    1. Thanks Greer, the inspiration bombs are great aren't they! X

  3. i loved this post and am so excited for you, it sounds like your on a brink of adventure! i am super excited to follow all the links too, every single one is new to me! I am an artist who isnt finding time to create at the moment (3 kids all under 7 , one full time at home and one baby disabled) so you see life's crazy hectic with little sleep...i too am about to make a change to create more, push more, do what makes me feel alive! Cant wait to see what you do next. thank you for all the great info xxx

    1. Hi Jane, thank you! A book you might like to take a look at is The Divided Heart, by Rachel Power. Rachel was one of the speakers and also has a blog (which I linked to in my post so you may have found it by now). It's about art and motherhood and I've heard only great things about it. We also had a great panel discussion on creativity, motherhood and whether having it all was possible, or total BS! One of the points raised that I loved was that 'having it all' is such a personal definition, we get to define what 'having it all' means for ourselves and our family. I'm excited to hear about whats in store for you too, Jane! Belinda xx

  4. Fantastic blog post Belinda. You put your experience at BHB into a glorious post. I loved the experience just as much and found it to be life changing moment in my life and it was lovely talking to you at the event and also at the Mary Anne Moodie Weaving class. Keep Blogging Girl!!! Love It!!!!

    1. Hi Kelly, it was such a nice treat bumping into you at the weaving class!! It took me a while to digest everything after BHB but I'm glad I've finally put the experience into words. Thanks so much for popping by, I'm stoked that you enjoyed the post. Belinda x


Thanks for your comment, so nice to hear from you. Belinda x

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