There are only a few things that really matter in life.


Whew. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve sat down to write a post. The explanation for that coming up!

And, YES, that is snow up above. On our drive to Chicago last Thursday, we hit a snow storm in Holland, MI. Craziness, but this officially means that I’m not crazy if I listen to Christmas music (which I am right now).


I just wanted to pop in to tell you:

a) I’m still alive. I received one very encouraging email from a longtime follower, telling me to keep going. Although I loved the words of encouragement, what I was facing was drastically opposite. With a newly re-launched service and a live workshop finishing up, there was a lot of backend client stuff that needed my attention. I decided to not let myself feel guilty that I had completely neglected my blog & chalked it up as an act of balancing.

b) I just got back from a week-long vacation that included a few days in North Carolina at the Making Things Happen conference and followed by a few days in Chicago with the fam & some pretty amazing food. Man, I miss Chicago.

c) Things around here might be changing up a bit. After my experience at MTH and then a few days of down-time to reflect, finished up by this post – I realized that I have been very consumed with what everyone around me (mostly in the internet world) would think of decisions that I made for me or my business.

I was worried what people would think if they found out how old I was (would people think that I was a fake?).

I was worried what people would think if I decided to re-launch my design services, even though I posted less than a year ago that I was no longer designing (would people think I was flaky?).

I was worried about posting something more personal on my blog (would people not take me seriously as a biz owner with pretty pictures on my blog?).

I realized that the only person I wasn’t listening to… was me.


And during those few days, I decided to do one thing from here on out, no matter what I believed other people would think…


Let yourself experiment.


Got an idea for a workshop but it doesn’t make much sense with your current offerings? Launch it anyways. It might turn out to be your biggest hit.

Love graphic design, brand strategy and stationery and want to launch a business doing all three? Do it! You can narrow down later. Now’s your time to play.


My biggest takeaway from the conference and the days following it were this…

There are a few things that really matter in life: 

Your family & everyone else who loves you.

Making a difference/helping out other people with the work you provide.

Doing what you love.

Everything else doesn’t really matter in the bigger scheme of things.


With that being said, you will be seeing some changes to this blog to create more of a personal space for me and the people who follow along and the ones who come here to get inspired.

I’m a human being who has a life outside of her business (it may be simple and boring to some, but it’s my life and I love it) with many other passions not currently expressed here. I trust that the people who continue to follow are the ones who I can help most. I also know that the people only looking for strategy & tips for running a business are in the wrong place. There are many other blogs out there like that. This isn’t one of them… anymore.


xx Amanda

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  • Ashlee Thurlow

    I LOVE this Amanda! I so wish I was at MTH with you! I can totally relate on both the experimenting/including more passions and life thing, and the age thing! My birthday is next week and I’ve been debating for weeks about even talking about it on the blog or social media because I don’t want people to ask how old I am. I am WAY younger than most people in our online ‘sphere’! Gulp…but I’m probably doing it anyway because I may as well celebrate life and the people I can help and let the others fall away. (Or exfoliate those as Jess would say.) I’m also shaking up my blog design + the way I blog and the services I offer as well. Why? To make them more ‘me’ because I’ve been SO focused on being professional that I’ve kinda forgotten my why and my secret sauce! I can’t wait to see what you have coming up Amanda. (Sorry for the novel here lol.)

    • Amanda Genther

      I loved your novel, @ashleethurlow:disqus! Happy early birthday!!!

  • LaPetiteFashionista

    I think there’s no harm in sharing your personal life on your blog & experimenting and things not being 100% perfect! it doesn’t make you any less professional or any less of an entrepreneur. It identifies you as someone who is willing to take risks and adventure and think outside the box, and that’s something everyone can use a little more of!

    Can’t wait to see what happens with your biz! :)

    • Amanda Genther

      Thanks for the encouragement @lapetitefashionista:disqus!

  • Leah Kalamakis

    Awesome, can’t wait to see what’s in store! I am feeling the same lately- thinking I can only speak to the clients that want to hire me and about the subject they would potentially hire me for. I think that stops us so much from really being us. Thanks for putting this out there and sharing!

    • Amanda Genther

      Yes, you nailed it @leahkalamakis:disqus.

      Just because I’m a designer does NOT mean I want to talk about how your website can make you more cash. I want to talk about things that inspire me and a lot of that includes my “real” life outside of this online world.

      Glad you can relate :)

  • Lamisha Serf

    I love this! I am doing a lot of experimenting with my new business that is only 2 months young. I am so glad you will be doing the same. I look forward to the awesome changes coming!

    • Amanda Genther

      Thanks for being here, @lamishaserf:disqus!

  • jplatt27

    I’m excited to see what changes are in store! Go you!

    • Amanda Genther

      Thanks @jplatt27:disqus!

  • Maggie Patterson

    Yay! I love this Amanda. More of you in your business can only be a good thing. Honestly, screw anyone who has an issue with your age. You may be “young” but you are smart, savvy and seriously wise. Can’t wait to see where this takes you.

    • Amanda Genther

      Ahhhh, I just adore you, Maggie! And not just because you called me “smart, savvy and seriously wise”, although that doesn’t hurt ;)

      Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Leigh Burger

      Triple like @Maggie!

  • Jessica K Studio

    It’s as if you wrote this post just for me! Seriously, I needed this today. As a “creative entreprenuer” it is so easy to feel like I am all over the place (because I am) then I worry that I need to focus on a niche and like I am “a jack of all trades master of none.” Lots of self doubt going on today and this post really helped me break through those thoughts.

    • Amanda Genther

      @jessicakstudio:disqus – you wouldn’t even believe how many times I’ve had the saying “jack of all trades, master of none” run through my head over the past few years. I never wanted to seem “flaky or “all over the place”, but I realized that’s just how I am. I am very impulsive and my mind gets consumed with different creative endeavors. Some stick, some don’t. That’s life.

      I just want you to know that I am right there with you, battling these inner critics (and some outside critics), and I want you to just be YOU. Try not to worry about what others will say behind your back, because when it comes down to it, they’re probably just more jealous than anything else because you’re actually making things happen for yourself. :)

  • Leigh Burger

    All I have to say is, YOU GO, GIRL!!

  • http://meaghangallant.com/ Meaghan Gallant

    I’m really excited to see these new changes roll out! My favorite places online are the ones that are mega infused with the creators personality. I personally find you really inspiring as a person and admire the way you run your business. I love that you change things up to stay true to yourself so flawlessly and bravely (well you know that’s how it appears to the reader :P ) Good to have you back in my feed!

  • http://trueshiningself.com/ Amy ~ True Shining Self

    Oh I love this. I too have been consumed about what other people may think and just yesterday decided to let it go, it’s stifling me and my creativity. I love that you’re listening to you and I’m excited to see what flows from this decision. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jessica

    Change is good. We as humans suppose to change, evolve, improve, learn and grow. You would be suprised how many people actually have the same struggles but it takes a strong person to br vunerable and transparent for others to see and judge. <—- oh they are judging and thats only because they don't have the balls to do the same. You inspire me and this post has really pushed me to carry on.

  • http://blog.bettyreddesign.com/ Nesha- Betty Red Design

    Amanda, I needed someone to say that, and I’m glad it was you. I feel like we have a lot in common- you’re pretty young and I’m almost the same age, so I always fear what people will think of my age. You cut out your design services then added them again, and I cut my web design services only to add them again less than a year later. And you want to make your blog a more personal space which is something I’m working on too. I totally understand where you’re coming from and how you feel. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my first year of business, it’s this: experiment, and have fun doing it.

  • http://www.91dash.com/ Aukele @ 91dash

    I love being able to see the personal side of a business owner as well… especially if they are an online business owner. I think it somewhat comes with the territory and I’m excited to see more of the “you” behind the business and after shop is closed up for the day!!

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  • Katie

    This is exactly what I needed to read (for the 2nd time) this morning. I have been grappling with the same questions myself. I want to revamp some of my services that were posted less than a year ago. I have an idea for a workshop that seems lofty and sometimes insane. Could it be the best thing I’ve ever done (?) possibly. The thing is that I want to help more women face-to-face and I think I need to change things up in order to do that. You reminded me that there is no formula, perfect plan, or “right way” to run an online business. I need to listen to myself first and foremost. Thanks!

  • Meredith C Bullock

    Written so personally, intentionally and sweetly. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to the new energy you’ll be pouring into your life and work!

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  • lovemydress

    I really love this post and it’s been just the ticket this evening to make my mind up on content I want to blog about. I’m in the middle of a huge redesign and am excited that this also gives me reason to focus on new and exciting features I want to launch at the same time my new blog goes live – stuff I’d put off blogging as it’s more personal. I always used to blog about personal stuff, but a break to focus on my book has allowed a fear of being real and being me to creep in, I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, but this post has inspired me to just do it. I’ll be revamping my old business and personal posts and can’t wait, they were always so popular too

    I also turn 40 this year and have come to realise more than ever at this age that nothing matters more than family, the way you treat and behave towards others and being happy. X