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We all have feelings, but sometimes it’s difficult to put those emotions and sensations into words. That’s why Orkid Toys founder and VIP Client Ginny Campbell created her popular plush toy product line Meebie.

Meebie has a variety of swappable patch-like pieces that help children and grown-ups change Meebie’s facial expression to convey a wide range of emotions from happiness, joy and excitement, to sadness, anger, confusion, and fear and everything in-between.

I’ve had the honor of working with Ginny as she’s put together her second run of Meebies and added to her line with her new Meebie Mini and picture book and I’m thrilled that we can finally get our hands on the new Meebies!

Download Ginny’s free printables

Want some fun and simple resources you can use right now? Sign-up for Ginny’s free printables which includes 3 downloads: A Mindful Moment with Meebie with instructions for a kind care pause, a Meebie Color Page where you can doodle your emotions, and a Feeling words List from Meebie’s book to help you identify what you are feeling.

Save 10% on Meebie

For all those creative, sensitive, heart-centered folks here in my right-brain community, I thought you’d appreciate this playful visual and tactile approach to getting in touch with what you or those you work with are feeling. Watch our fun video above to hear how we’ve both used Meebie to help us and other great ideas for acknowledging your emotions.

If you’re a therapist, play therapist, counselor, teacher, parent, or just a kid-at-heart like me, check out Meebie as an enriching ally to use in your professional practice or your personal life.

Also, Meebie Mini and the Meebie Has Feelings book both make great gifts for a great price!

Ginny is offering a special 10% savings on all Meebie merchandise with code RBBP10 for my community from now through November 30th.

Clean Sweep

Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

As the end of 2018 approaches, it’s time to take stock of what needs to be cleared from your life to make room for all the cool stuff that’s coming up in 2019. This is when you look hard at things like:

• Jobs you’re doing that someone else could, and should, be doing
• Making sure you have the right staff and contractors in place
• Stepping away from participation in groups that no longer serve you
• Disconnecting from people that do not enrich your life
• Cleaning up your contact database
• Cleaning up your emails and unsubscribing from everything that no longer serves you
• Checking in with clients (current and past) to keep them engaged through the holidays into the new year
• Clearing your To Do list of all that has been lingering
• Finishing up outstanding projects
• Tidying up your books and your finances so you can go into the new year clean (BONUS: You’ll have all your info ready for taxes by the middle of January – easy peasy!)
• Looking at your current business processes and deciding what is working, what needs tweaking and what needs to be tossed out and revamped
• Eliminating useless podcasts, TV, and blogs that clog up your mind and do not serve your greater good

What you’re doing is clearing the business clutter and making room for your innate creativity and your ability to dream your future into existence. In fact, doing this now will make your holiday season more pleasant as you will be free of the stress brought on by carrying all this clutter around with you.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a little exercise: Do a Vision Board for 2019 RIGHT NOW.

Can you do it? Is your head clear enough to see into 2019 and beyond? Or are you stuck barely being able to see beyond 3:00 p.m. today?

If you are ready to knock out your Vision Board now, congrats! You definitely have your head in a good place. If you find yourself in the latter category, then take heart, you’re not alone. I know I’m certainly not immune to overwhelm. I think it’s safe to say that all small business owners find themselves overwhelmed from time to time. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

Here’s a suggestion: Pick one or two big items on your list and get them done. Once they’re complete, take stock of how you’re feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. I think you’ll discover that you’re feeling stronger and happier in all categories. I think you’ll also discover that a huge weight has been lifted and you’re able to engage more fully in your business and your life.

Now think about how you’re going to feel when you knock out a couple more. It’s pretty safe to say that you’ll continue to feel lighter and more open and available. Clearing your headspace is essential not only to your ability to clearly see what’s possible for you and your business, but also essential to your sense of well-being.

Use the exercise of creating your Vision Board as a barometer to measure how clear your head is and whether or not you can see what’s possible for 2019 and beyond. If you’re all jammed up, then jettison some of that clutter you’re carrying around. Whether it’s people, subscriptions, groups, work others could do or something else now is a perfect time to make a clean sweep. Think about how great it will feel.

Cass’ new #1 International Bestseller, ­The Cool Stuff Jar: Three Simple Ways to Live a Happier Life, is now out on Kindle! Keep tabs on the book launch and all the fun following the launch by visiting www.CoolStuffJar.com and entering your email. You can also follow Cass on Facebook!

Procrastinitis

Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I just finished my third online jigsaw puzzle of the day and I stretch. My gaze drifts over to my whiteboard and I see several, ok, 11 tasks that have been up there for so long that the ink seems to be fading into the board. I’ve looked at them so often that they barely register in my mind. I remember that I have to do them, but I skip over them.

It’s not that they’re not important or that they’re super hard, I’m just putting them off. As a business and accountability coach, I know better. I chide myself for continuing to avoid them. Then, I start looking around for something more interesting to do.

What’s wrong with me?! Some of those tasks have been there for more than a couple of months. They’re in various stages of completion, some just lacking a little, some barely started. I guess I’m just human and I’m wishing my work away rather than simply doing it. Even now, as I’m writing this post, I’m glancing over at the art calling to me from my studio table. I feel my creative brain starting to conjure up possibilities…

Stop it! Back to the screen. Focus girl, focus!

I know exactly what’s wrong with me. I’m suffering from procrastinitis. And I know exactly what the cure is: DO SOMETHING! The minute you move into action, you tend to stay in action.

There are real problems with not getting things done:

  • Delaying is creating more work for you
  • You are adding to your overall stress
  • You are creating an opportunity to beat up on yourself
  • You are making yourself feel pressure that you don’t need to feel
  • You are pushing yourself closer to deadlines when the things will suddenly catch fire and turn into a crisis.

So, pick something small and do that. Now. Then you will have one less thing on your plate and you will have the satisfaction of completing a task that has been hanging around.

After that, tackle something pressing and something large. Could be the same task or could be a couple of tasks. Either way, set your priorities and get to work.

Since I’m all about accountability, here’s what am I going to do about my lingering tasks:

  • I’ll take literally three minutes to prioritize them, assign due dates to them and put them in my calendar. I’ll be quick and clinical. I won’t spend time over-analyzing them or wallowing in them or thinking about them. I’ll just make decisions, knowing that I’m already intimately familiar with them and I KNOW what needs to be done and in what order.
  • Then, I’ll pick one to finish tonight before I go home. (Just so you know, I’ve picked number 3 on the list, it’s been hanging around for nearly two months and it will take no more than an hour to finish… SHEESH!)
  • Tomorrow, I’ll get to work on numbers 4, 7, 8 and 10 from the list. They’re just phone calls and a little bit of research.
  • My date to have EVERYTHING off that whiteboard is Nov 15. You can hold me to it!

So what are you going to do the next time you know you’ve got a bad case of procrastinitis? How will you tackle your lingering tasks? What’s the date you will have them done and off your plate? Find yourself an accountability partner and help each other kick that procrastinitis to the curb.

Cass’ new #1 International Bestseller, ­The Cool Stuff Jar: Three Simple Ways to Live a Happier Life, is now out on Kindle! Keep tabs on the book launch and all the fun following the launch by visiting www.CoolStuffJar.com and entering your email. You can also follow Cass on Facebook!

Bionic Knees

Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

Several weeks ago I had a total knee replacement. It’s healing beautifully and I plan to have the other knee done before the end of the year. Thanks to innovations in knee parts over the years, I’ll practically be bionic!

While I knew I’d be out of commission for a while after surgery, I did not plan on being so tired. My sleep habits have changed and I’ve been working only about half a day, then it’s home to do rehab, ice and sleep. I know I will improve as the weeks go by and I will be able to return to the pace I’m accustomed to before the surgery.

But now I’m wondering if I really need to return to that pace.

I’ve been a business coach since 2004 and I love helping clients see the difference that consistent small shifts can make. Plus, I’m an artist and, of course, I love exploring my creative side. I run my business out of a beautiful studio and I’m surrounded by creative supplies, creative people and inspiration every day.

As part of my practice, I make a point of marrying business and creativity in sessions with clients. After all, creativity is essential to innovation. And without innovation, a business can go flat. I also help clients pay close attention to the innovative hits and respond to them. We all receive the hits, it’s what we do next that matters.

I listened to my body and now it’s time for new knees. So why not listen to my soul and these internal cues for change and make a few shifts in my business.

I have a fresh goal to balance the amount of time I spend working with clients and the amount of time I spend working on my art. In order to do this, I’m reducing the number of clients I work with and increasing the number of retreats I do each year. I’ll make the retreats a luscious mix of business and creativity held in interesting locales (like Barcelona). An added bonus: I’ll be able to enjoy the retreats even more with my new bionic knees!

My business was fun before, now it promises to be over the top fun. I’ll spend my time doing the things that only I can do and delegating most of the rest of the work to others so they can do what they love. Just making this change has made me feel lighter, refreshed and inspired.

What are you doing to keep your business fresh?

What are you doing to keep yourself fresh?

Are you listening to your body and to your soul and responding to those needs?

Paying attention to the signals that a transition is needed, and doing something about it, often leads to bigger changes than you originally imagined.

Making simple shifts, whether by setting a fresh goal or intentionally shaking up your priorities, can result in a more pleasant balance for you a business person and a human being. Of course, you also have to do the normal work of making your plan, executing it and adjusting it as time passes. But when you do, you will feel that fresh excitement that you felt when you first started your business.

Like many great innovators, Cass Mullane has the unique combination of being a strong creative as well as a strategic thinking MBA. After departing the corporate world in 2004, Cass built a thriving business and personal coaching practice that focuses on accountability and specializes in solid business skills for right brainers and creatives. Tapping into this whole brain approach has helped to make Cass a highly valued coach with an international clientele.

Cass’ new #1 International Bestseller, ­The Cool Stuff Jar: Three Simple Ways to Live a Happier Life, is now out on Kindle! Keep tabs on the book launch and all the fun following the launch by visiting www.CoolStuffJar.com and entering your email. You can also follow Cass on Facebook!

Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

How are you at dealing with distractions? Do you find your day slipping away because of distractions? On the other hand, perhaps you’re pretty good at managing your time and your attention. Either way, you need to have a few simple techniques in your bag in order to handle the barrage of distractions that you encounter each day.

Distractions fall into two broad categories: self-created and externally created. They can be productive or they can wreak havoc with your ability to get things done. Your job is to have the discipline to choose your distractions and your reactions wisely.

Self-created distractions abound. These are the games you play on your computer, the videos you watch, the social media you check, the wandering, the idle chatter, the breaks for beverages and snacks, the books and magazines, the shopping, day dreaming, whatever you choose to do that uses up your time.

As for externally created distractions, they can include the ping of your phone, an unexpected visitor, meetings, news, rumors and gossip, traffic or the weather. These are distractions that you have no control over, they just happen.

Remember, not all distractions are bad, they are just distractions. While you may not be able to control the arrival of a distraction, you certainly can control your reaction to it and how you deal with it.

Let’s look at games on the computer. This is a self-created distraction that people generally associate with wasting time. One sure fire technique you can use to sensitize yourself to how much time you actually spend on games is to physically track the amount of time you are playing online. When you add it up, it can be shocking. Then, when you look at the pile of work not yet completed, it may be just the kick in the pants that you need to start making a better choice on where to spend your precious time. If you’re not ready to cut out games all together, an effective technique to manage your games is a using a timer. Set the timer and when it goes off you stop and close the game. Period.

But not all distractions involving games are bad. For example, I do some of my best creative business thinking while I’m putting together an online jigsaw puzzle. This is a productive self-created distraction as it frees up one part of my brain to work on the problem while another part is busy doing the puzzle. When I’m done letting my mind work something out, I simply close the puzzle tab so I’m not tempted. Out of sight, out of mind.

Externally created distractions are everywhere, especially in our digital age. Just think about what happens when you hear the phone or laptop ping… you drop everything to check it. Obviously there are times when you need to be on top of a situation, but most of the time the pings are extraneous and they can wait.

Think you’re immune? Probably not. When you see an email notification pop on your screen your eyes are naturally drawn to the movement. You automatically look at it for a moment. The result is a distraction from whatever it was that you were looking at before. The same is true with any notification like an instant message, a Facebook post, an Instagram pic, a tweet, a video, a sound byte, a podcast upload, a blog post… you get the picture.

But who is in charge here? Do those online services decide how you will spend your day or do you decide when you check those services?

One technique you can use to help resolve this problem is to turn off your notifications. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can get done in one uninterrupted hour. After all, your devices are just tools and you’re in charge of how you use your tools.

Dealing with distractions can be as easy as implementing a few simple techniques like setting a timer or closing a tab. All it requires is knowing the technique and having the discipline to use it.

Like many great innovators, Cass Mullane has the unique combination of being a strong creative as well as a strategic thinking MBA. After departing the corporate world in 2004, Cass built a thriving business and personal coaching practice that focuses on accountability and specializes in solid business skills for right brainers and creatives. Tapping into this whole brain approach has helped to make Cass a highly valued coach with an international clientele.

Cass’ new #1 International Bestseller, ­The Cool Stuff Jar: Three Simple Ways to Live a Happier Life, is now out on Kindle! Keep tabs on the book launch and all the fun following the launch by visiting www.CoolStuffJar.com and entering your email. You can also follow Cass on Facebook!

Growing up I was a “good girl” – you know… nice, quiet, polite. I shied away from rocking the boat, dominating a conversation, or speaking up when something felt off. Being the youngest in my nuclear and extended family I dutifully tagged along with what everyone else was doing even when I was upset or uncomfortable.

Even as an adult, I admit that I still find it challenging to assert myself in the moment and I worry waaaay too much about being nice/liked/proper. Perhaps you relate on some level?

In my 15+ years of working with creatives and heart-centered folks, I’ve seen how often we tend to minimize anger by saying we’re merely frustrated or annoyed when really we are seething with rage, especially if we’ve let it build up over time.

Rage about a passive-aggressive comment a colleague made because they didn’t have the courage to say what was really on their mind. Rage about someone copying your creative work or a co-worker taking credit (again!) for something you did. Rage about a client giving you the run around when they owe you a final payment for a project you just delivered with all your heart. Rage about injustices in the world, and the list goes on.

Sure, anger can feel scary for a number of reasons (it seems unsafe, out of control, or too bitchy) AND it can be a catalyst for action and transformation, it can lay the foundation for clear boundaries, requests, and communication, and it can be a powerful rallying cry that helps you find your right peeps.

For creative business leaders, anger is an often untapped yet extremely valuable resource.

So, what has you seeing red?

Here are a few prompts to get you going:

  • What really pisses you off because it feels unfair, insensitive, or just plain wrong?
  • What are you constantly (and angrily!) complaining about because you wish it were done differently? Remember, complaints are usually requests in disguise.
  • What seems totally broken to you but no one is talking about (argggh!!!!!)? Or maybe there’s lots of talk but no action and that makes you even madder (ARGGGH!!!!)
  • Who tends to trigger you? What are they doing and/or saying when you sense your skin crawling?

Journal your thoughts and see what themes or ideas begin to emerge.

You could discover clues to a manifesto that helps to crystalize what you are taking a stand for in your business or the messaging for a new offer. I get mad when I hear very authoritative, arrogant figures lecturing (and boasting – ew!) about how things “should” be done as if that is the one and only way. And I get even more upset when I see the confusion, overwhelm, and shame creatives experience when they then think they’re doing it all “wrong” and are failures. You can see how that inspired the work of the Right-Brain Business Plan ;).

Or perhaps you find the words to better articulate your company policies or guidelines so that you have clearer agreements and boundaries. For example, a few years ago I wrote up a page to explain what people can and can’t do with my materials after we found several unauthorized uses of my work and had received lots of well-intentioned but overreaching requests because people didn’t understand copyright or Intellectual Property.

Maybe you find the courage to speak your mind to a group of friends, colleagues, or even family members and give them feedback about how something landed with you. It may ruffle feathers at first, you may need to deal with some messy fallout, and you just might create deeper trust and connection in the long run.

Let anger be your ally and advocate

In order to transform anger into an ally and advocate, make sure you’re able to identify what is going on for you and take conscious action.

  • Become aware of what anger feels like in your body so that you can easily identify it as it arises. Does your skin feel prickly? Your belly tense? Do you clench your fists or jaw? Does your temperature or heart rate go up? Do you feel like screaming at the top of your lungs?
  • Articulate what exactly you’re angry about. What core value of yours has been violated? What boundary has been crossed? Sort through what’s yours to own and what needs to be cleared up with the other party. That’s much healthier than blaming and putting it all on the other person (she made me soooo mad!)
  • Ask yourself how anger can be your ally. How can your anger provide support and be in service of healing and growth? What is the message it has for you? And what other allies can you enlist to help you take on the issue so you don’t have to go it alone?
  • Advocate for what you believe is right. Speak up in order to make change. Give voice to the unspoken. Be willing to say the thing no one is willing to acknowledge. This all requires tremendous courage. Thankfully, the fiery energy of anger can help you access the boldness and bravery needed to take a stand!

Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

Over the years, I’ve closely watched how entrepreneurs handle what life throws them. From death to illness to fire to accidents to theft to bad judgement, everyone has to deal with the unexpected.

It’s tough when you’re the primary breadwinner in your entrepreneur household and you have to stop work or to step away for a period of time. For many of you, when you don’t work, there are no revenues. In addition, that creates a bubble in your sales funnel and it can take several weeks or even several months to work through that bubble and get back to normal. Knowing an interruption is a likely to occur should make you put planning for the unexpected on your Must Do, Non-Negotiable List. But, then again, it might be one of those things you think you can always do later.

Then, ‘later’ happens, usually without warning.

Many of you seem to think that you’re immune to business disruption. You’re not! Disruption just occurs, and it’s often outside your control. You are left standing there like a deer in the headlights not having a clue what to do next. That’s why it’s called disruption. The good news is that a little preparation can go a long way toward a healthy recovery from being away from your business.

So how adaptable are you? What are you doing now that you can leverage later when something happens that keeps you out of work? How’s your staffing? How are you set up to generate future sales? What do you have in place that you know will run without you physically being present? Do you have a financial safety net in place?

These are questions that you must answer. If you have not gotten around to it, you’d better.

On a small, easier scale, think about what you would do if your phone got stolen along with your calendar, contacts, emails, notes, files, messages, apps and photos. Is your data safely backed up somewhere or are you assuming that you’ll always have access to it on your phone or your laptop and you’ll get around to syncing and backing them up later? What about when your laptop crashes and you cannot recover your data. Where can you go to find all that sensitive, essential business and personal information?

Aside from data loss, what happens if you have a major life event like an illness, an accident or you need to help a parent and you’re out of work for a longer period? How do you continue to generate revenues to cover your bills and other expenses when you’re not physically at work? How do you ensure you business continues to run?

Here are some tips:
1. Plan how your business operations can continue without you.
2. Make sure you’ve adequately backed up your critical data.
3. Hire appropriate contractors to manage certain areas of your business and focus your energies on doing what you do best.
4. Set aside 10-30% of every receipt for your financial safety net.
5. Make sure you have automated some of your systems so clients and customers can continue to utilize your services and buy your products while you’re away.
6. Practice “what if” drills to see how your plan might actually work during a business disruption.
7. Learn to expect change and to embrace it.

Like many great innovators, Cass Mullane has the unique combination of being a strong creative as well as a strategic thinking MBA. After departing the corporate world in 2004, Cass built a thriving business and personal coaching practice that focuses on accountability and specializes in solid business skills for right brainers and creatives. Tapping into this whole brain approach has helped to make Cass a highly valued coach with an international clientele.

Cass’ International bestseller, ­The Cool Stuff Jar: Three Simple Ways to Live a Happier Life, is now out on Kindle! Keep tabs on the book launch and all the fun following the launch by visiting www.CoolStuffJar.com and entering your email. You can also follow Cass on Facebook!

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