Tap into abundance

There is enough for everyone

Many charitable and recognition events include a food element. As an event marketer, I am in a position to observe people and how they interact with their food.

I notice that, in general, there are two mindsets when approaching an included (free) buffet of food. One jostles to be first in line, fills the plate to the brim and piles the food high, sometimes balancing two plates at a time. This person anxiously gobbles as to get back in line quickly and obtain another serving before it is gone.

The other often waits until others have been served, visiting and renewing acquaintances in the meantime. A modest amount graces their plate, and they rarely return for a second serving. This meal is consumed at a leisurely pace while visiting with others at their table.

Scarcity versus Plenty

The difference between these two groups is a scarcity versus plenty mindset. The thought that resources are scarce leads one to fear that there just isn’t enough for everyone. This mentality is jealous, and feels bad when someone has something more. It compares and lives with anxiety and fear.

Unfortunately, this mindset will wreak havoc on your business. The result is the constant worry about the state of your business and comparing your success to the success of others. People with a scarcity mentality often exhibit greedy behaviors. They won’t help others who are new in the business. They jealously guard resources and contacts. Even when they are meeting their business goals, they feel bad if someone else is doing better. Scarcity mindset leads to a constant state of comparison and anxiety.

The alternative, of course, is to realize that there are abundant opportunities. The plentiful mentality believes that there is enough for everyone, we aren’t in competition, and we should celebrate others when they succeed.

When fear and envy are removed from the equation, cooperation and collaboration have room to grow.

The plentiful mindset will reap rewards in your business. When fear and envy are removed from the equation, cooperation and collaboration have room to grow. Pooling resources can lead to reduced costs. Working together can lead to achieving larger contracts. Sending referrals to a colleague, lending a helping hand, and cheering a colleague’s success are all outpourings of an abundant philosophy.

Tap into abundance. There is enough for everyone.

Be part of the solution - volunteer

Be part of the solution – volunteer

Become a part of that solution. Serve your communities. Don’t be a part of the problem.

These are the words of Dallas Police Chief David Brown encouraging people to get involved and serve their communities. His words are common-sense wisdom. If you don’t like what you see in your environment, you can do something. Each of us has the power, and the responsibility, to step up to the plate and get involved. This is true in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.

Critical thinking + creative design =  solutions that exceed expectations. This is the philosophy at Sparrow Creative Studio. I believe critical thinking and creativity are essential elements for problem solving. Therefore, I choose to invest in these elements – in my home, and in my community.

For example, instead of “How was school today?” I ask my granddaughters “Did you ask any good questions today?” I have a pinterest board filled with crafts to make using household items. Last week, toilet roll ninjas and foxes were the projects. Because I value critical thinking and creativity, I make a deliberate investment in those values in my home.

I make the same investment in my community through volunteering. Volunteering allows organizations to expand their reach and impact through the power of invested citizens like myself.

Megan and I both volunteer our time and talents with TEDxABQ, a group that produces independently-organized local TED events. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. TEDxABQ introduces new ideas and perspectives to elevate community engagement, connection, and enthusiasm for the future. The vehicle is small, focused talks –  TED Talks – where local speakers present their ideas about innovation, creativity, humanity and more.

Why do I volunteer with TEDxABQ? I believe in the power of ideas. I believe that a person who inspired by an idea can affect positive change in their own life, and in the lives of others.

We invited some of our fellow volunteers to share the reasons they volunteer.

September 17 TEDxABQ will host its 7th annual main event at the Kiva Auditorium with the theme: Think Viral. The event will be a full day of New Mexico’s most fascinating ideas in science, technology, design, the arts, business, and social justice. Tickets go on sale August 1 at TEDxABQ.com.

If you’d like ideas of how you can get involved and make a difference for New Mexico, come join us. Ideas are contagious. Get infected.

Collaboration of Nations

I am not smarter than a 5th grader. In fact, when I was in 5th grade the world as we knew it was very different. We had nine planets, and the USSR (dating myself). A lot has changed since then, and I admit that with day-to-day life I’ve not taken the time to learn a lot about changes in the world. Where am I going with this? I don’t know anything about Tajikistan.

On a recent visit to Boulder, Colorado Megan and I had the opportunity to visit the Dushanbe Tea House. When we approached from the street, the exterior of the building greeted us with a vibrant cacophony of color, beautiful tile work, and exquisitely detailed trim. I knew we were in for something special.

A symbol of peace & global friendship

When I entered the tea house, I truly felt transported away from the southwest into another culture. A culture I knew zippo about. Soon, I learned the Dushanbe Tea House was a gift from the city of Dushanbe to its U.S. sister city, Boulder. Dushanbe is the capital city of Tajikistan, formerly part of the Soviet Republic.

The tea house is an artistic marvel of texture, color and light. It was created by forty Tajik artisans by hand over a two-year span. The techniques they used were traditional, descendant from Persian design, and shared across generations within families. After its creation, the tea house was dismantled and shipped to the United States to be reassembled in Boulder.

I was struck by the work and care that resulted in the tea house. Two far distant nations – traditionally beset by ignorance, distrust and misunderstanding – found common ground in their sisterhood and began a collaboration of nations that we are able to enjoy today. These cross-cultural relationships allow me to glimpse beyond my own borders and participate as a global citizen.

In this jewel box we enjoyed a lovely tea. I am not usually a tea drinker, but I was entranced by their Boulder Tangerine custom tea blend and I purchased some to enjoy at home. All of our food was delicious. With a glass of sparkling wine and the wonderful and tasty gluten-free menu for Megan and I, it was a splendid way to spend an afternoon.

SparrowGals at Dushanbe Tea House

Our visit to the tea house took on additional meaning when Sparrow Creative Studio was approached by Rikki Quintana of Hoon Arts Fair Trade. Rikki began her introduction of the company by explaining that they were a fair trade importer of hand-crafted materials from Tajikistan!? I’d never heard of the country before, and in the scope of two weeks, I’d encountered it twice! A bond was forged as Rikki shared the scope of the Hoon Arts mission.

The hand crafts of the Tajik people use nature and repetition of patterns, beautiful colors, and meticulous quality. We were so inspired by these patterns that we incorporated them into the Hoon Arts branding and materials.

Sparrow Hoon Arts flower

Many of the artisans are women from impoverished rural mountain communities. Through their art, they are able to substantially improve the quality of life for their families.

Too many companies destroy communities by exploiting artisans and polluting cultures. Fair Trade practices help promote economic development and also help ensure the preservation of traditional culture.

Individually, each of us has tremendous power to contribute. Through our purchases, literally putting dollars where our ideals are, we can improve – or impoverish – the lives of others.

Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. – Anna Lappe

July 8-10 Hoon Arts Fair Trade will display their wares at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. I encourage you to visit the market, and visit Hoon Arts. You may find an exotic treasure for your home, or the perfect gift for a friend. You may have the opportunity to impact the life of a woman in Tajikistan – seize it!

Don't just fly - Soar! Walt Disney

The Winds of Change

Every spring New Mexico is rocked with gusting winds. They push dunes into new shapes and trampolines into new yards. This spring the winds of change blew into Sparrow Creative Studio. This is our 7th year providing Marketing and Design services in New Mexico and across the country. In that time we’ve worked with countless entrepreneurs, schools, businesses and non-profits. Through our work we’ve noticed that we repeatedly share key pieces of education. We’ve also noticed that even though each business is unique, there are common elements that cross demographic lines.

So, time for some change. We’ve decided to add a few elements to our repertoire to share some things we’ve learned along the way.

In the winds of change we find our true direction

Introducing Altitude!

Altitude is a digital magazine for those go-getters that are committed to succeed in all areas of life; dedicated to professional excellence, personal development, and business success.

At Sparrow our goal is to help you take flight. We have designed a life we love, and here we will share our insights and experiences with others who want the same.

Let’s begin.

Sparrow 3 tips to ace your professional photo session

Make your head shot work for you

I highly recommend a professional headshot to my customers. The investment pays off tenfold in credibility (and also time saved searching and editing your vacation photos).

Megan and I had our session with Max Woltman photography. Professional head shots are a new step for the Sparrow Gals since we are usually behind the scenes helping our customers shine. As introverts, we were a little nervous about being in front of the camera, but we needn’t have worried. Max and Denise put us right at ease and the session was fun!

A pro photo session typically includes a few wardrobe changes, so you can work with your photographer to match the style of your shoot to your profession and your goals. At Sparrow Creative we support many events, so we had some shots taken in our LBDs. Megan also chose a casual outfit in an artistic setting specifically for TEDxABQ and other volunteer activities. Our business incorporates marketing strategy as well as creative design, so we chose outfits in classic styles with our own artistic touches incorporating our brand colors for our final shots.


Max was running a great special that included makeup – which was a bonus as I am not a makeup girl! Our faces were done by Denise Van Arsdale-West, a professional artist for the NM movie industry. Her expertise with makeup for the camera helped us look our best. To match the creative aspect of our business we had our photos taken in a local art gallery and in a few creative ABQ downtown spaces.

In just a week we had a wonderful collection of professional images for our business! Below, Max Woltman shares his wisdom for others who are ready to invest in their professional image.


1. Choose clothing wisely. Remember that a headshot is a reflection of the impression you want to give to your clients. Do you want to present yourself casually, formally, with an artistic edge? Even the choice of color affects the “psychology” of the images. For example, blue generally conveys calmness, red represents passion, etc.

2. Come to the photography session with an open mind. Every photographer has a different way of working and his/her unique style. If you have familiarized yourself with the photographer’s work and communicated what you are trying to accomplish, let go of the rest, have fun, and let the magic happen.

3. Ask peers for help in choosing the images. We are our own worst critics and often dwell on things like a specific feature of our face (i.e. a big nose, a crooked smile, etc.). Remember that a good headshot has just as much if not more to do with conveying the big picture of who you are as a person than it does with glamour or vanity. The first impression someone gets when he sees your headshot should ideally be the first impression he gets when he meets you in person.

The first impression someone gets when he sees your headshot should ideally be the first impression he gets when he meets you in person. – Max Woltman

Great advice!