Sharing Is Caring

sharing
Today, I’m talking about sharing. I mentor women who are creative and healing entrepreneurs, so this is a topic I see all too frequently. Bear with me as I look at this important topic from several different viewpoints.

Let me first point out, that none of us create success in a vacuum. It’s impossible, since life is not a vacuum but an interweaving holographic energy experience. The most successful people understand how important it is to support others.

Even if you have not dealt directly with your potential clients, they feel you on an energetic level through your website, social media interaction, resource materials, products, services, and by how they observe you treating others.

My second point is that creative entrepreneurs (artists, designers, writers, etc.) get the word out about their skills by sharing their work online through their website and social media. The value in sharing is having people find out about them, contact them, visit their site, and ultimately, buy their work.

So, when others share a creative’s work online, it can potentially help get the ‘word out’.

That’s a good thing, right?!? Well, it depends!

Sharing is (Not Always) Caring

Once creatives upload files to their portfolio, website and/or social media, the file is then picked up by search engines for dissemination. The creative’s contact information is lost, and sometimes people download the image to share separately and fail to credit the artist.

The creative only benefits when people make a conscious decision to also share the creative entrepreneur’s contact info (web, portfolio, or social media link/s) when they share. Otherwise, it’s just another random file with an unknown source.

The internet, particularly social media, has made it very easy to blindly share visuals without crediting the artist or providing links back to the creative. The excuses for not giving credit are many…and they are bogus.

The image at the top of this post is a perfect example.

Artist, Martina Hoffmann created this gorgeous image of the hummingbird, and she shared it on her facebook feed. It also appears on her website portfolio. Search engines picked up her image, and people who saw it began sharing the image.

You can see why: It’s gorgeous, great colors, beautiful flow, nice composition, many layers of meaning embedded in it, has a hummingbird, etc. It’s easy to see why people would love and be drawn to this image!

Problem is, without sharing who created it, the artist has no way to benefit from the sharing. No one will visit their site, or refer others, and no one with know where or how to buy the image. The link between the creative and the work is lost, and the point of sharing the image is invalidated!

It would be best for all involved to become aware of this issue, and take the time to credit the creative whose work they share.

Insult to Injury

When professionals PROMOTE their own services, products, and/or professional image share a creative’s work without crediting them, it really adds insults to injury. They are receiving a benefit by sharing the creative’s work (catching people’s attention), but then failing to give credit where it is due.

Now, some would say this is a legal offense, but I would go further to say this is an energetic offense: How can you expect people to VALUE YOU and what you offer, if you are not willing to VALUE OTHERS? That is energetically out of balance, out of integrity.

I first saw this beautiful hummingbird image by Martina on a social media feed from a “spiritual teacher” who was promoting her ‘love is all that matters’ image and way of seeing the world. The image caught people’s attention, and they flocked to LIKE and comment on her post, visiting long enough to read what this teacher had to share. I know, because was one of them!

Then, I dared to ask: Who is the artist? Because that information was not disclosed.

What ensued was…the reason I am writing this post:

The “spiritual” person sharing the image said they had no idea who created the image. I found the answer in less than 30 seconds, and shared the information in the thread. Rather than immediately ADD that credit information to the post, the “spiritual teacher” said they just didn’t have time to find the creator of every image they shared.

I privately messaged her to consider what message she was sending by failing to honor the person whose work she had grabbed for free to promote herself.

She then deleted her post and blocked me. I guarantee you that the people who witnessed her unwillingness to credit the creative, even after given the information, realized something about this “spiritual teacher”…and energetically, the message was not a good one.

Interesting, isn’t it?!? That a person who teaches connection and love and kindness flatly refused to take 1 minute, or less, of her time to honor the creative (credit the work shared), wouldn’t even do it after she was directly provided the information, then blocked someone who suggested she *walk her talk*.

Now, you may say: “It was on the web, so it’s fair game.” NO. It’s only on the web because a search engine crawled the file on the web. Humans download and share without crediting the originator, so the original source is lost…unless someone goes looking for it.

“Does it really matter that we credit creatives?” YES. Creatives who can’t make a living doing their creative work have to stop, and work somewhere that pays them enough to survive. They have bills to pay, too. It is worth a minute or two of your time to ensure that a creative is properly credited for work you are sharing, whether it’s for the joy of sharing or because the work catches people’s attention long enough to hear/read the message you have to share.

Found an image or video you like, but not sure who the creative is? Here’s where to start your search:

REVERSE SEARCH IMAGES
Either of these sites allow you to upload an image or point to a URL. Facebook image URLs appear ‘hidden’, so you must download the image first, then upload to the reverse engine search. Here are two to bookmark:

Google Image – often the fastest, but not always the most accurate. Click on the camera in the search bar to upload an image or point to a URL.
TinEye – will show you the FIRST time it was crawled on the web, and where, which gives further clues.

Using one of the above links, the VAST majority of the time, you will find the creative source in less than 1 minute, but occasionally you need to do further searching.

For instance, I found an adorable GIF animation, but when I searched I couldn’t find the origin of the original art. A still from the animation proved that the art came from one creative and the animation came from another.

SEARCHING A VIDEO
Facebook allows people to grab another person’s video and post it as their own. This is why so many are now putting their URL and/or logo directly on the video.

Start, first, searching the subject of the video in your search engine. Those who take videos sometimes rename them according to the subject versus the original title. You may see several variations of the video, and have to check dates and length to determine which one is the original. Once you find the earliest version, look in the description box which often contains the creative’s original contact information.

I’ve found videos shown on Facebook that originated on Vimeo, and Vimeo videos that originated on YouTube. Be patient, and focus on the subject. You’ll be amazed how much information you can find when you bother to look!

Just Ask!

I am not saying to forever stop sharing beautiful images and videos that you like. What I am saying is: CREDIT the creative when you share! LOOK for the creative’s contact information when you want to share the image. Take one minute to reverse-search, if necessary. Once you know who the creative was, CREDIT THEM in your online posts.

When someone else shares it from you, make sure that the creative’s credit goes along for the ride. (Add it in your comment to the share.) Look out for creatives the way you would want someone to look out for your creative efforts.

Creatives want to get the word out and share their work online. If you ASK THEM for permission to share and credit them, most will be THRILLED and happy to let you share! Many will even, if needed, provide a higher resolution of the file you are requesting. I’ve never had a single person turn me down, when I’ve asked and offered to credit them.

This is what I have done with the image above. I saw it unfairly shared without credit. The person who shared it was not willing to credit the creative. I reached out to the artist and asked permission to share in this post. Permission was granted, she told me which link she preferred, and then I wrote this post about this topic. The creative is benefiting, now, correcting the wrong that was previously done.

Energetics of Sharing

When you honor and value others, you send a message to the Big U that you appreciate honor and value. When you give credit where it is due, people remember to credit you, when it is due. It truly is a give and take, and the Golden Rule in action: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.

Sounds like karma or ‘what goes around, comes around’, and it is…and it is also about personal integrity. YOU know when you are not in integrity. Your lack of willingness to honor, value and give credit will ensure that you are not honored, valued, or given credit.

Whether you bought a royalty-free stock image (majority of images on this site are bought, others are created by me, or used with permission of the creative) or got permission to use a creative’s image, give credit!

If you care enough to share, care enough to credit the creative!

If you are a creative, ask people to credit you and provide them the links you want them to share—social media, site, portfolio, etc. Give them one that will point to the others.

Appreciate everyone who credits you and other creatives. If you see others sharing work that is uncredited, ask who created it. Increase awareness that the best practice is crediting the creative when sharing their work. If they don’t know and you have a minute, search and share the information, yourself.

While the one situation I shared above was an exception, MOST of the people with whom I share the creative’s information will immediately amend their post to include the credit.

This is how we share with integrity, and creatives support each other.

Image credit: Martina HoffmaNN

Step Into Your True Power of Creation

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Dear Business Owners,

My deepest wish is for you to realize, and step into, your true power of creation.

Why is it that you think nothing of creating products or services for your clients—out of nothing more than sheer inspiration—yet you don’t realize that you have the same ability to create success in your business?

You are a powerful being capable of amazing creations and accomplishments. The ability to create success is your birthright. You may have forgotten it, but you can never lose it entirely.

Over the years, I’ve received countless phone calls and emails from you complaining about what is going wrong in your business and your frustration in how to fix it, yet the power to do so has always been within you from the time that you were born. In fact, you’ve (unconsciously) created your problems in the same way you can also create your solutions!

In order to create solutions, though, you first need to become conscious of, and step into, your own true power of creation. This is imperative for your business to grow and thrive.

Here is what you might be doing to block your own power:

Ignoring your inner guidance (intuition). You own inner guidance will always direct you in the right direction. When a decision needs to be made, know that the answer IS inside of you. Get quiet, know the right answer is present, and listen for it. Assume and feel that your Divine Self / Christ Consciousness is at work within you finding the perfect solutions, then be in that energy and listen. Be ready to take inspired action.

Doubting and questioning yourself. The more you question yourself and ask others, instead of listening for your own guidance, the more you are blocking your own intuition. Some take this so far that they end up stuck in the pit of victimhood. You are also sending a signal to the Universe that you don’t know of and are unaware of any solutions, which will keep them vibrationally elusive until your energy shifts. Release the bad habit of doubting and questioning yourself, or seeing yourself as a victim, and make a conscious choice each day to affirm and know that the perfect solution is coming into your awareness. Then, get ready to receive!

Chronic complaining, to yourself and to others. Do you remember a time in your life when you didn’t complain? For most of us, that was back when you were much younger, before you had developed a bad habit of complaining. Many of us grew up learning that the only way to relate to others was through complaining and fault-finding. Complaining is a habit that is a form of negative affirmation—which limit you and block you from receiving anything positive! The Universe is always responding to the signal you are sending, and complaints just tell the Big U to send you more that you can complain about! The good news is that you can replace a bad habit with a new better habit…like letting what annoys you point you in the direction of what you prefer, and appreciating your new preferences. Abraham calls that ‘Taking the Bounce’.

Getting caught up in the ‘outside world circumstances’. This is what I often hear: “But you don’t understand, this (fill in the blank) is my problem and as long as it exists, I’m screwed!” With a belief like that, you surely are! And yet, you are infinitely more powerful than any circumstance that comes your way…if you believe you are. The outside world is a reflection of what is going on inside of you, and nothing changes outside until you change yourself on the inside. This concept took me a long time to understand, and now Quantum Physics is showing us how this happens. Bashar has said, “Circumstances don’t matter. Only state of being matters.” When we’re so focused on ‘the problem’ being our roadblock, the Law of Attraction can only line us up with more of that. You are the only one with the power to create problems or solutions in your world. I know…that seems like a lot of responsibility. Take a deep breath! Take a few deep breaths. Taking full responsibility is the hardest part of the process, for most people, but doing so makes everything else much easier. What you created, you can begin anew and create differently from an upgraded perspective!

Resisting or refusing to create an environment for your success. I get it. It seems easier to stay where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. If that’s your preference, then keep doing it. But you’ll also have to let go of your expectation of improvement because that will require creating a different environment for your success. That might include changing how you talk to yourself and others about yourself and your business, who you spend time with, where you focus your attention, expanding what you believe is possible, using your imagination to focus on positive possibilities, and caring enough about how you feel to set strong boundaries. If your (internal and/or external) environment has been nurturing failure, then it’s up to you to change the environment if you expect a better outcome.

Here is what you can begin doing to unblock, and step into, your own power:

• Honor your inner guidance (intuition). No one has your back like your own inner guidance. Connect with and listen to your inner guidance on a regular basis. Doing so will make you very sensitive to how your guidance communicates with you. Over the years, my inner guidance has developed a shorthand that I know instantly what is right or not-so-right for me. I listen for it, feel for it, receive it, and honor it by taking appropriate actions based on the guidance. And yes, I ‘thank’ my inner guidance on a regular basis!

• Consciously choose to trust yourself. Ask your inner guidance. If the answer isn’t immediate, trust that your guidance will show up in some way. Perhaps it needs to come through another person or another situation that has yet to happen. Feel your higher self / Christ Consciousness working on your behalf, feel your appreciation for the support, then relax and focus on something that you enjoy. Sparks of insight usually occur when we are in a relaxed state of mind, often focused on something unrelated.

• Affirm, meditate on, and visualize your good. Everyday. As often as possible throughout your day. Let every thought and feeling (thought + emotion) you have focus on what feels better to you in any given moment. Train your mind and heart to lean toward the positive. In the beginning, this might take a lot of concentrated effort (depending on how long you’ve wired your brain to do the opposite), but after you’ve been doing it, it becomes easier and easier. Until, one day, you notice that it has become your ‘new normal’. Like a train (of thought) gaining momentum as it hits the summit and begins the route downhill. The cells of your body are like cells in a petri dish—affirming, meditating and visualizing your good not only uplifts your mind but also benefits every cell in your body. Your whole body will begin to vibrate at a higher level, attracting people, opportunities, and resources that you previously could not access vibrationally.

• Take full responsibility for your state of being. Let me restate: You are infinitely more powerful than any circumstance that comes your way. Everything changes (in a good way) when you take full responsibility for consciously choosing a positive state of being. Not just acquiring a positive state, but learning how to return to that state when an experience knocks you into the (vibrational) bushes.

• Nurture your success. Value yourself enough to consciously upgrade your self-talk (cultivating your own affirmations is a great way to do this). Choose your words carefully when speaking with others about yourself and your business, as you are creating what you think and speak. Be discerning about who you spend time with, be conscious of where you focus your attention throughout the day and as you fall asleep. Open your heart and mind by expanding what you believe is possible. Using your imagination to focus on positive possibilities, and caring enough about how you feel to set strong boundaries. If your (internal and/or external) environment has been nurturing failure, then it’s up to you to change the environment if you expect a better outcome.

But wait, you say…all of your recommendations is about ‘inner work’!

That’s right. 🙂

BLOG_InnerWorkThe most important part of business success is the inner work you do before you take any physical actions! Once your energy is positively aligned with the inner work, every action you take will be the ‘right one’ for you and your business. Therefore, your inner work is more important than, and bears a greater influence on, any other business actions you take!

Too many business owners take actions from a defeated feeling of failure, a mindset of doubt and mistrust, an unwillingness to imagine a better outcome, and end up nurturing their failure. Then, when the outcomes are poor, they observe what they’ve created and then have more proof of their failure, frustration, doubt, and mistrust. It’s a vicious cycle.

Rather than take full responsibility for their power, the unconscious business owner will blame others, the economy, or ‘circumstances’, completely unaware that THEY are the ones who created all of it!

Here’s the good news: It’s never too late to become a conscious business owner and step into our true creative power. Whatever we’ve created, we can begin anew and create differently.

By honoring our inner guidance, consciously choosing to trust ourselves, affirming/meditating on/visualizing our good, taking full responsibility for our state of being, and actively nurture our success.

That is how we step into our true power of creation as a business owner.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Give it a try for yourself…and keep in touch. If you are struggling, I am here to help. If you’ve already been doing this inner work for a while, share below in comments what you’ve experienced so others may benefit.

 

Image credit: hjalmeida

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