join me on my next step of faith

Marian ParsonsRunning a Business19 Comments

I know I’ve been cryptic about “things I’m working on” and “new projects” for the past few months.  Those vague phrases are actually referring to several irons in the fire.  You know about some them like the fabric designs I’m working on for Spoonflower and the oil painting course for beginners, but there are a few other projects that are still in the development stage.  I’m excited about all of them, though, and I can’t wait until they are ready to be sent out into the world.

Today, though, I am excited to finally launch a project I’ve been working on diligently for a couple of months but has been on my heart for years.  With the shift away from online and market retail that happened with my move to Minnesota, I have found space for new ideas and the time to finally bring this one to life.

I am so excited (and a little nervous) to introduce you to Mustard Seed Mentoring – Mentoring for the Creative Entrepreneur.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I have been sharing posts about creative business since my early, early days.  I’ve shared how to make tags, how to make money blogging, how to sell successfully at markets, the process for writing books, designing fabrics, making videos, photographing products, styling, etc.  I’ve shared it all as I’ve learned it along the way.  I would write the articles I wish I could’ve read when I was trying to figure something out!  And I’ve received wonderful feedback from hundreds of people over the years who felt empowered and encouraged by my story and words to start their own business.  If I could do it, so could they!  And I absolutely love that.  It’s better than selling any piece of furniture or getting any amount of likes on a social media post.

I’ve received many mentoring requests over the years, but I’ve never been able to say an enthusiastic yes.  I’ve offered phone calls, a chat over coffee, words of encouragement, or links to helpful posts that will give them a point in the right direction.  But I always felt limited by lack of time and energy I realistically had to offer someone.

Now, it’s the right time for me to say an enthusiastic yes to mentoring.

While this idea has been on my heart for a long time and doing it feels natural and right, launching it is a big step of faith!  And, if you are a creative entrepreneur, I would like to invite you to take this step of faith with me.  I believe this group will be something special and that anything of worth that each one of us brings to this group will be multiplied.

So, let’s cover the who, what, when, where, why, and hows of this invitation…


This group is specifically designed for creative entrepreneurs or aspiring creative entrepreneurs.   While it is thrilling and freeing to make money doing what you love, owning and running a creative business can also be overwhelming, stressful, and lonely.  As someone who has been running a creative business for over 11 years, I totally understand.  Not only have I been there, but I’m still there and dealing with all of the challenges that arise from working from home, being your own boss, and offering your creativity to the world for sale and critique.

Of course, I will be a mentor and the face and voice you see and hear from most, but I don’t have all of the experience or all of the answers, so I have an amazing team.  (You can meet them HERE.)  Between us, we have decades of experience in blogging, writing, retail (online, owning shops, and selling at markets/shows), social media, marketing & promotion, product design, commercial & interior design, freelance writing & photography, brand and business consulting, buying and selling antiques, furniture flipping, getting published, and so much more.  We have experience growing businesses without capital and in small markets and also running growing businesses that are bursting at the seams.  Members of my team have even filmed TV show pilots, franchised their stores, and launched membership-based groups.  That’s a lot of creative business brainpower at your fingertips!


Mustard Seed Mentoring is an online, monthly membership-based program.  When you become a member, you have access to our growing library of creative business content (PDFs, posts, and videos) and will receive fresh content each week that speaks to popular topics brought up by our members.  We’ll do live group mentoring sessions, share our best tools for productivity & profitability, interview experts, and work on challenges together as a group.  At the heart of the mentoring program will be a private Facebook forum, so we can answer your specific questions and encourage you in a more meaningful, personal way.

Alan Jacobs said, “Thinking is necessarily, thoroughly, and wonderfully social.”  Let’s think about our businesses together.  We are stronger, smarter, and more creative when we put our heads together.

And, if you want even more individualized attention that includes a partnership with my blog and brand, I am also offering one-on-one mentoring.

I’m using the word “mentoring” versus “coaching” intentionally.  When I think of a coach, I think of someone on the sidelines.  A coach puts together the playbook and assigns tasks.  A coach can’t be on the field.  A coach may have played the game at one point, but she is not on the field now.

I see myself as a mentor.  Someone who is playing the game right alongside you.  Someone who is on the field next to you, the same mud splattered on my face, and the same bruises from taking hits.  I want to be a resource, an encouragement, and a friend.

I feel like coaching is me and you.  Mentoring is us.

Photo by Rene Day


Now!  The doors for Mustard Seed Mentoring are open now until June 13 at midnight EST.  At that time, we will close the doors to new members, so we can focus on our founding members and creating amazing content for them.

I know that it’s the summer.  I know that the tendency is to wait until fall to really dig into new things, but can you imagine focusing on learning and growing as an entrepreneur over the summer, so you’re really ready to dig into things when the kids are back in school and we all are back in our regular rhythms?  This is a good way to fill the slower, more relaxed summer months with intention.


You can visit the Mustard Seed Mentoring website HERE.

All of our meetings will be online, so you can join us from anywhere in the world!


I think the why is two-fold.  Why am I doing this and why would you want to join?  And the answer is intertwined.

I’m doing this because I want to make a real difference in the lives and creative businesses of others.  I won’t give you busy-work assignments and teach you how to beat the algorithms.   I will focus on the heart of your business, which is you!  I want to invest in you, so that you can move mountains in your business.  So that you and your business can thrive.  So that you aren’t alone when you feel like you can’t win the social media game or you are deflated after a setback.  So that you have a resource when you need to learn how to do the things required to make your business hum.  And, of course, we’ll share all of our collective tips, tools, and techniques to give you practical, actionable to-dos that will make a cumulative difference to your bottom line.

A part of making a real difference is offering a $500 business scholarship to one of our members each month, so they can invest that money in an area that will help their business grow.  That could be new tools or gear, the entrance fee for a fair or show, money for a marketing campaign, or seed money to launch a new product.


We made this as simple as we possibly could!  Just click over the website and select the mentoring option that’s right for you.  If you want to do group mentoring, just click the join button and register.  If you want to do one-on-one mentoring with me, then fill out the application to get the ball rolling.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here or on the Mustard Seed Mentoring site, just send me an e-mail (  I will also be doing an Instagram Live on Tuesday, June 11, at 11:00 am CST to talk about Mustard Seed Mentoring and answer questions.

And the final question I want to address…  What if you can’t afford Mustard Seed Mentoring?

Answering this question was important to me since I would’ve desperately wanted and needed this when I was first starting out, but that was a lean time for our family.  For that reason, I have decided to offer a limited number of 3-month membership scholarship slots to those who are starting or running their business out of a place of financial hardship.  (We are accepting applications based on the honor system, so please only apply if there is truly a need.)

You can apply for one of those scholarships HERE.



Whether you join me as a member or not, thank you for being here.  Thank you for supporting all of the twists and turns my business has taken over the years.  My blog audience has always cheered me along, celebrated successes big and small, and encouraged me through disappointments.  It was the loyalty and community offered by this group that made me think launching a mentoring program was even possible.  So, thank you!

And, for those who join me as a founding member on this adventure, I can’t wait to hang out with you and get to know you and your business better…

PS – We have been having some technical issues with my blog feed lately!  So sorry if you didn’t get this announcement on Friday, even though you’re a subscriber.  Both my assistant and I wanted to hurl our laptops through a window last week because just about everything was going wrong (my blog feed stopped sending automatically to subscribers, the internet in an entire town was down, so my assistant had to drive to another town to work, etc.).  Hopefully, we have all of the kinks worked out.  If you’re still not getting an e-mail, let me know in the comments (and check your junk/clutter folders).

join me on my next step of faith

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19 Comments on “join me on my next step of faith”

  1. So happy for you Marian! I’m not a creative or an entrepreneur, oh how I wish I was, but that ship has sailed for me. 🙂 I live vicariously through you! I look forward to your blog each day and love following your stories. You are so inspiring. I think this new leap of faith for you is wonderful and those who join will benefit greatly! I’m cheering for you behind the scenes! Can’t wait to see everything else you have coming down the pike!

  2. Hello Marian,
    Just wanted to wish you good luck in your next adventure and let you know I did get todays post….yay!!!
    It is so very sweet of you to offer your “honesty scholarships”. I do believe a big part of your success is due to YOUR complete honesty. This is not something I would be doing but I know it will be helpful to many. Keep up the good work!!!!

  3. This is so exciting!!!! What an amazing opportunity to learn from someone like you! I love that you want to invest in others and share what you have learned! So excited to learn from you!!

  4. Question about your mentoring program: is it designed to last for a certain number of months and how long would you need to participate in it to really benefit from all the material and resources? I really love your blog–you’ve been a big inspiration to me, and I was incredibly excited to see that you are launching this program! I am hoping to eventually start a small interior decorating business (I am a fine artist and currently paint “on the side” but I’d love to expand into running a decorating business as well). However, since I haven’t actually started that business yet and the cost of this mentoring program is a little high, I’m not sure I can really justify it right now, BUT I might consider doing the group mentoring program if it’s possible to do it for just a few months. Thanks!

    1. Good question and yes, you will get a lot out of it from just doing one month! It’s not a course, so there aren’t set steps to walk through. It is personalized mentoring tailored to our members. We will be sharing information and tips in a variety of categories, allowing our group to help us determine what will be most valuable for them. That’s one reason the price is higher. The group will be smaller and much more personalized. There will be an open forum where you can ask all sorts of questions about your business, getting started, growing, social media, etc. and we will be there to answer. We’ll also answer questions in live group mentoring sessions. So yes, I think it’s worth joining even for one month.

      1. Thank you so much–that’s very helpful! One more quick question if you don’t mind me asking (I know you will be on Instagram Live answering questions today, but I will be at work then!). Do you feel that this program is better suited to people who have already gotten a business up and running? As I said in my original comment, I haven’t really started much of anything YET, and I may not even be in a place where I am ready to do so for a little while (I currently have an almost full-time job), however I am trying to do as much as I can to prepare now, so that I’m ready when the time is right. From what you’ve said, it sounds like the group mentoring is still going to be tailored enough for each individual that it would be helpful for me even if I am in a different place than many of the other participants…

        1. Yes, I think it will be perfect for you. We have members who have been in business for a while and people who are just starting out and there will be something for everyone! I think this could be a good resource and encouragement for you as you’re getting started.

          1. Thank you so much for answering my questions! I’m so excited. When I got the email about this program on Friday, it really sounded like a godsend!

  5. As a long-time reader, it’s always exciting to see your many successes, Marian! I have no doubt many creative entrepreneurs will be blessed with this coaching opportunity. You are such an inspiration to many and a great teacher. Wishing you the very best for this new venture and we’re cheering you on!

  6. Congratulations on launching a membership site. With your empathy, creativity and know-how, you have what it takes to make this a roaring success. I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually surpasses your other activities.

  7. I’m really excited for you doing this! I’m unable to join as I’m in New Zealand, but you have certainly been a person I look up too, admire and take sooo much from already. Good luck with your new venture. I know you will be great!

  8. Congratulations on your new endeavor. I’ve been following you since you began @2014-2015. You have been an inspiration to me the entire time! As a side note, I’m wearing my grey “Miss Mustard Seed” tee shirt today 😀.

    I wish I could join you in the group mentoring since I’ve started quilting and embroidering pretty much full time but I’m old and retired and it wouldn’t fit in our budget.

    But, I truly wish you good luck and great success. I hope you’re original blog will still show up so we can follow you.

    Good luck and congratulations again !

  9. This is a very nice plan and you are certainly someone who has an abundance of talent and experience! But I looked in vain for the cost and got tired of clicking here and there and thought I’d just ask. What is the cost of the program? Group vs one-on-one? Payment plan? How is the program structured? What kind of accountability are you expecting to provide? etc. Thank you!

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry that was hard to find. If you click the “tell me more” buttons under “what type of mentoring is right for you”, you can find it all of the details and where to sign up.

      I’ll send you an e-mail with all of the details!

  10. Hi Marion,
    I have been following you for quite sometime now. I have saved many of your photos as inspiration. Just love your paint. I myself tried to start a creative business myself, in an effort to help my family out of dire situations. Unfortunately I have zero marketing skills and things never got off the ground. I’m older than you, but still trying to make it work out. I’m in awe of all you have accomplished, starting from scratch. The story of your name was most intriguing. I’m excited about what you are doing now and wish you luck.

  11. I am so excited for this next adventure in your life. If I wasn’t 60 yrs old and thinking of getting out of the business, I would be in your class for sure. Good luck and I hope all of the young entrepreneurs realize what a great blessing this is.

  12. It’s easy to understand, detailed and meticulous! I had a lot of posts. after watching this article from you! I feel it’s interesting, your article gave me a new perspective! I have many other articles on the same topic, but your article convinced me!

  13. Something going wrong with are internet.. Could you go over how much the group
    coarse would cost $$$$

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