Creative Coaching

DIY Coaching for Creatives

February 24, 2014




I was recently asked the difference between life coaching and the Coaching for Creatives that I do. Life coaching, depending on the coach, can take on many forms. There are some coaches who focus on the mind / body connection and help their clients tackle weight loss. Some coaches focus on what sucks and help their clients hurdle road blocks that keep them from where they want to go. There are relationship coaches, health coaches, and money coaches. But the one thing most coaches have in common is goal-setting and action-planning to live the life you want to have.

Me? I’ve tailored my coaching program (both 1:1 and the DIY email series) to blend the techniques I learned in the life coach training I’ve received from Martha Beck with the patterns I’ve uncovered and tools I’ve developed from consulting hundreds of creative entrepreneurs over at Braid Creative. So the coaching I do is specifically for creatives who are looking to design and live life, both at work and play, according to their own rules. When you are creative for a living the line between work and life is easily blurred. Your work is personal and the life stuff often gets put on the back burner. To compound that, if the work you’re doing (and the clients, or perhaps day job, you’re doing it for) isn’t satisfying then life “off the clock” isn’t going to feel very dreamy either. My style is to help my coaching clients get clear about their vision and commit to a self-perscribed action plan to make it real.

In my coaching experience I’ve found that most of my creative clients crave the same things:
• they want an attitude of prosperity & abundance (specifically around money)
• the desire a morning routine
• they would like more time to make things with their hands
• they want to write daily (blogging / journaling / or even a book)
• they want to pick up a meditation practice (or at least find a few minutes a day to still their mind)
• they want to cook and eat tasty meals
• they want to cultivate courage and confidence
• and finally, they want to feel creative and happy – it’s as simple as that

So it’s my job as a coach to help them get specific about what that dream life looks like and hold them accountable to designing it. I also throw in a bit of intuition, personal experience, and resources when appropriate. But because I am only able to take on a limited number of one-on-one coaching clients and because my coaching fees are out of reach for some creatives I decided to create a DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s $40 for 4 emails per week for 4 weeks (that’s 16 emails total). The emails are a blend of practical tips, tools, and worksheets but also touch a little on meditation techniques and weekly mantras (but I promise it doesn’t get too terribly woo-woo). If you like the Coaching for Creatives blog series I post weekly here you’ll probably enjoy going a little deeper and holding yourself accountable to make small changes with the DIY Coaching for Creatives emails. Unlike our Braid ECourses, you can sign up to receive these emails any time. So if now isn’t the right time, that’s cool. It’ll still be there when you’re ready.

You can learn more and sign up for the DIY Coaching for Creatives emails here.

Grounding Exercises for Dreamy Creatives
Coaching for Creatives blog series
Braid ECourses for Creative Entrepreneurs

Coaching for Creatives | Be A Lover

February 17, 2014


I used to hang out with lots of cynics, or for the lack of a better word haters. These friends, myself included, delighted in coming together and bonding over the things they don’t like. Gossip, venting, complaining, and commiserating can be addicting. Like a drug, the “high” of negativity can feel really fun and good – but the aftermath can leave you feeling gross and hungover. So these friendships I had were rooted in negativity – they were toxic and eventually fell apart.

Gossip can be addicting. I would find myself talking trash, complaining, and venting to my nearest and dearest. I was doing myself and the people I love a disservice by not giving them the side of me that shines. I finally realized I was both the problem and solution. It became clear that it is not only in my power but that it is my responsibility to be a lover. But it takes discipline, daily, to not fall into the easy routine of negativity. Being a lover takes way more courage and effort than being a hater. Here’s how I (try to) do it:

I’m not saying my friends and family can’t come to me when things are a total shit show and they need my support… but I’d rather more often bond over the things that delight and lift us up versus the things that make us miserable. That said, like a boomerang, what you put out there is what you’ll get back. So that takes us to the next point below.

Get this: it’s in your power to cultivate and attitude of love in your relationships, conversations, and interactions. This means you’re choosing to show up in the world as a lover. Here are a few ideas on how to be a lover:

1. Be explicit and enthusiastic about what you love.
Make it a point to verbalize, blog, or simply be mindful about what you love. Every day. Communicating what you love can feel vulnerable and doesn’t always come easy. Need help? Use your senses. What do you love to smell, hear, and taste? What do you love to read? What do you love to feel? Take notes of what delights you and tell someone about it.

2. A love script for the creative entrepreneur.
I love it when creatives tell me what they’re really good at. So here’s a lover’s script for introducing yourself as a professional creative: “Hi. My name is _____. I do ____(A)____ for ____(B)____, but what I really love is ____(C)____.” 
Blank A: This is what you do that you get paid for. So it could be graphic design, web coding, photography, etc.
Blank B: This is your dream customer. Think of your favorite client to date and use a few words to describe how your professional interaction felt.
Blank C: This is what you really love doing (even if it doesn’t quite pay the bills yet or is even a non-work-related hobby). Blank C is what makes you a lover instead of just a commodity.

3. Ask other people what they love. Ask your creative buddies what they love about their job or a project they’re working on. Ask your partner what they loved about their day. Ask your friends what makes them feel the most in love with life.

So to conclude this post – tell me what you really love in the comments.

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


Also, our most popular Braid ECourse, Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do is now open for registration and will be in-session February 21 – March 2. And Kathleen readers can take this course for $50 by using the discount code ANDKATHLEEN50 when you register.

Coaching for Creatives | Tools for Designing Your Life

February 3, 2014


As a creative you already have the most important tool for designing your dream life: an imagination. In fact, it’s probably your job on the daily to see something in your mind and make it a reality. So if you can do that with a website, a well-designed room, an outfit, or a logo then why can’t you do it for your life? The number one culprit I’ve seen is not making the vision real. My own life coach says “If you can see it, it’s yours.” So today I’m going to share some really practical tools for you to use so you can really see the life you want to live – then make it yours.

1. Blogging
Obviously, I’m a huge fan of blogging. It’s not for everyone but I think it’s one of the single most effective tools for shaping, sharing, and holding yourself accountable to living the life you want. It gives us a place to tell our stories – and everyone wants to hear a good story. So for example, while I don’t do things just to blog about them, I probably wouldn’t be as motivated to get off my couch if I didn’t have a space to document my adventures.

2. Instagram
If blogging is a place to share the whole story I think Instagram is a great place to share the smaller slices of life. I’d love to challenge myself to Instagram one interesting thing that captures my eye a day. Or perhaps use it to experiment and explore different themes in my life (ie. things I’m grateful for, cooking, nature, touring my own city, etc.). I love how R. Wood is using Instagram to capture her adventure in high pointing – which is visiting the highest point in all 50 states. (She’s actually inspired me to do the same with our baby – I’m hoping to end with Denali when he’s 18!)

3. Pinterest
Pinterest is the modern-day mood board. You might prefer the old-fashioned collage technique of vision boarding where you cut and paste images and words you like from a magazine onto a poster board but I’m far too lazy for that. So Pinterest is a place to get dreamy and really put visuals to some vague notions of what you want your life to look like.

4. Journaling 
If Pinterest is the modern day mood board than you’d think Blogging would replace your diary. But not so fast. There is something magical that happens when you put pen-to-paper. I think it’s a mind/body connection at play when you get dreamy on paper. A journal that no one else sees is a safe place to make lists, draw mind maps, write morning pages, set intentions, and explore your own deepest life desires. So go out and get yourself a Moleskine today (though, I prefer the cheap wide-ruled 99¢ composition notebooks – it’s less intimidating to mark up).

5. Conversations 
Paulo Coelho says “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize that dream.” I believe that the more you can get other people on board with your dreams and your vision the faster it will manifest. So set a coffee date with someone who inspires you and exchange dreams. I promise you’ll connect new dots and set plans in motion to make your vision actually come true. Plus, it’s one more person to hold you accountable to living the dream.

6. Calendar
If you want something to happen you’ve gotta make time for it. Go into your calendar and set some dates with yourself. This could be anything from clearing your schedule for a day to paint, de-clutter your house, go for a hike and a picnic, or setting a reminder to talk to your spouse about booking an adventure. The idea is to actually commit time for action, otherwise you may get bit by the procrastination-and-excuses bug.

What tools are your favorite for visioning and designing the kind of life you want to live? 

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


Coaching for Creatives | Truth in Opposites

January 27, 2014


I’m a pretty opinionated person and with that comes the ability to be pretty judgmental at times. It’s a great trait to have when I need to make quick and important decisions in business and life, but it’s not so great when it makes me irritable, snarky, or anything less than compassionate towards myself and others. I’ve found that my thoughts can quickly become a “truth” that I’ve got a firm grip on. So today I want to talk about dissolving negative thoughts (about self and others) by exploring when the opposite is true.

One of the most valuable things I learned in my Martha Beck coaching training is the practice of finding truth in opposites. It’s now something I practice daily as negative thoughts or judgments arise. Here’s how it works:

• Identify a thought you believe to be true about yourself.
This could be something you always say about yourself like “I’m unlucky.” or “I’m so impatient.” or “I’m not ______ enough.” Now imagine this thought as a tennis ball you’ve got a super tight grip on.

• Now state the exact opposite of the thought. 
This is really hard for my one-on-one clients because they always try and make it more complicated than it is. So if your statement is “I’m unlucky” then the opposite would be “I’m lucky”. If your statement is “I’m not ________ enough” it is now “I’m ________ enough.”

• Then find three genuine examples of when the opposite is just as true, if not more true than the original negative thought. 
The idea isn’t to invalidate the original negative thought. It’s just to loosen your grip around it (imagine the tennis ball in your hand) so you can create space for new, positive thoughts to form. So you can create new truths. So a good way to find examples is to say “I’m lucky because ______” or “I’m ____ enough when _______.”

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You can also find when the opposite is true when you make judgments or negative thoughts about other people by turning those statements on yourself. So for example, let’s say you’re dealing with a tricky client. One of the things you might say is “The client doesn’t trust or listen to me.” Try flipping that statement on yourself and say “I don’t trust or listen to my client.” It will instantly allow you to approach the relationship with more compassion and willingness to understand. It also holds up a mirror and makes you accountable for the things you say and think about others – because maybe you’re really just saying them about yourself.

Again, the idea isn’t to make your original belief untrue. You may still believe that you’re unlucky or not enough. But the idea is to create space for a shift in perspective by finding alternate truths at the same time.

One of the more recent examples of when I put this into practice is when I received a few comments on my “Why I Quite Google Analytics” post that challenged my truth and experience in the matter. I recognized that these contrary opinions being expressed in rebuttal to my own could be just as true as my own at the same time. Instead of feeling defensive and wrong I was able to come to the conversation with an open mind and good attitude.

I was taught this technique of questioning and thought-dissolving in my life coaching training by Martha Beck who adapted it from The Work of Byron Katie

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


Coaching for Creatives | Own It

January 13, 2014


What would it look like if you owned every action you took, every decision you made, and every feeling you had? What if you owned your failures and victories alike? What if nothing ever “happened” to you but instead you were entirely responsible for every interaction you had?

After every one-on-one coaching session I have with my clients I have them pick a mantra / intention / focus for the week. I’m not sure if it’s collective consciousness or just that all of my rad-ass clients have a lot in common but a few of them have at one time or another picked the mantra “OWN IT.”

So what does owning it look like?
• Making the first move
• Confidently talking money with your clients from the get-go
• Hitting “publish” on a blog post without concern for what “everybody” will think
• Or on the flip side hitting “publish” on a post even if “nobody” reads it
• Replacing the words “I have to” with “I choose to”
Being vulnerable / showing up & being seen
• Wearing what you like – even if it’s not “professional”
• Saying exactly what you mean
• Asking for what you want
• Admitting when you don’t know what something means
• Being honest about your experience
• Refusing the role of the victim
• Recognizing your power
• Celebrating your success
• Looking at your bank account & overhauling your relationship with money
• Not having room in your life for complaints or gossip
• Being proactive vs. reactive
• Making your attitude a choice
• Putting a priority on your own needs and desires
• Letting go of toxic relationships
• Giving it your best – every single time
• Not taking it personal
• Doing the work
• Being unapologetically authentic
• Living and loving out loud
• Replacing the words “having” with “making”
• Taking time to really acknowledge and feel what you’re feeling – good or bad

What does “owning it” look like for you? How could you better own it in business & life moving into the new year? Let me know in the comments. 

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


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