Best resources for a great start to 2015
the journey - danny haas at

the journey – danny haas

{artwork via here}

The New Year is an especially fabulous time for starting on new things. It all seems to fit together – a fresh mindset for a fresh calendar.

So I’ve brought together a few of the best resources I’ve found out there to get you and your business positively sproinging out of the starting gate!  There is SO much out there to choose from, it’s very easy to get overloaded; I think simple is often best so I’ve kept it concise. There are some old favourites (who can go past Seth?) and some discoveries I’ve just made recently. They are both practical, and good for getting your head facing the right direction. Here goes:


the journey - danny haas at


1. How to Set a 100 day Goal and Stick to It with Julia Bickerstaff from the Business Bakery. Down to earth and fun. I’m doing this one for sure! Here.


2. Design Cuts Holiday Bundle: If you’ve not come across these guys before, then they might just be the graphics godsend that you need. Design Cuts cater to graphic designers large and small, and even if you’ve only got a basic understanding of image editing programs, you’ll find something that’s works for you. Not only do they provide fabulous tutorials, they also collate very high quality graphics resources (like fonts, vector images, textures and more) and present them in bundles for hugely reduced rates, often 80-90% off. Best thing at the moment though is that they have got a MASSIVE bundle of goodies for you for NIX. That’s right, free. Check the bundle out here (you’ve got to hurry though, it ends on 4th January).


3. Design your own {lovely} blog: Do you have a blog? I recommend you do (and here’s why). Marianne has an absolutely fab collection of tips and tutorials on how to get your blog looking its best – from very simple ideas on what to include where, through to the internal coding to make it all work.


4. Colour. I really couldn’t decide which colour palette generator was more useful, as they both have their strong points, as well as some similarities. Both of these sites allow you to choose colour schemes from photos, and you can choose to make your colour schemes public (to be voted on by their respective communities) or private. You can also scroll through other people’s schemes and use them.

Adobe Color CC is great for those who want to strengthen their knowledge of how colour schemes work, and gives you an on-screen colour wheel so you can visualise what’s happening. ColourLovers has been around for yonks, and that’s because it’s excellent. Although it lets you simply choose colours in your palette according to whim, it also has a section where you can create your own patterns and apply the colours you have chosen, AND then export your coloured patterns to Spoonflower.


5.  30 day List Building Challenge from Nathalie Lussier is another must-do. Does your business have an email list? If you don’t, you are surely missing out. I remember reading one time that your customers can forget to visit your website and then forget you – but if you’re in their inbox, you’re in a very privileged position. Get the lowdown from Nathalie “let’s make it a home run” Lussier here.


Bonus: Seth’s Blog. I know I said 5 things, but I really cannot go past the wonderfulness that is Seth Godin. Succinct, pointed, thought-provoking – Seth’s post in my inbox is one that I rarely miss opening. Guaranteed to expand your horizons, and make you dig deep into what’s inside you in equal measure. You can find Seth’s wisdom here. Subscribe; you won’t be sorry.


(Just a note though, don’t feel obligated to start any or all of these on the 1st January; there are other calendars around besides the Gregorian, not to mention your own timetable. Start when you’re ready, but don’t wait until everything’s perfect because it never will be. Start SOON.)


p.s. Don’t forget to check out all the tutorials on tractorgirl, and you can also grab a copy of my new book, Visual Business {Small Business Branding} for a very large 25% off here.


the journey - danny haas at



Here’s to an absolutely fabulous 2015!

Best wishes always, Julie x

avi self portrait 2 lightest