Your business is not pointless when the world is on fire

Does anyone need a hug right now?

It was Monday morning, I sat at my desk while staring at my screen, and I felt utterly deflated. What’s the point? I thought. Who still wants my creative coaching services when the world is on fire? When there is a war on our doorstep? I mean, I can think of a few men right now who could really do with some mindset coaching to get back in touch with their hearts… but, seriously. I was probably not the only one feeling like their business suddenly felt completely meaningless in today’s reality.

How can you pick yourself up from feeling this low, and keep going? Should you feel guilty if you do? In this post I want to explore some of the things you may be feeling right now, and how to navigate through all of those emotions as an entrepreneur.

First of all: there have always been wars. For centuries. And in fact, all throughout the 20th century, and up to today, there have been bloody conflicts and injustice around the globe. People are dying. Drones are flying. Bombs are dropped. All the time. It is heartbreaking, and totally pointless. Some conflicts are in the mainstream news, others are not. This current European one is very much in our face, and it scares the hell out everyone, myself included. Second of all: in times of war, the propaganda machines on both sides work overtime to stir up the hatred for the ‘other’, and rally round the troops. Please be aware of what you read and share on social media – stay curious, ask questions, read up on history. There is always more to it than either side will want you to believe. I don’t know half of the facts. Do you?

Photo by Natalie Dmay on

Silly reels in times of war: what is wisdom?

Now back to our own emotions. You may feel scared about the future, or you may feel depressed about the state of the world. You may feel heart broken about civilians being killed. You may feel afraid that it could affect you and your family too, this war, economically, or even physically. And what will happen to the financial system? Inflation, food shortage, poverty? All these big questions. And we’ve only just come out of a pandemic (are we out of it? I am lost on this one, the headlines have all changed – where has Covid gone?). On with the next thing. No rest for the wicked.

So here we are. We have built our little empires with blood sweat and tears, we are selling products and services, and we need to keep on top of the marketing. You may have scheduled a whole heap of fun social media posts for the month…you were planning to go live about your exciting next event…but it just doesn’t feel right, does it? How can you be all chirpy and talk about stuff as if nothing is happening? People may think you are an ignorant, careless being. But you are not. And you are not alone in this. We all feel confused about what is right. Still, there is a thing to remember when you feel like you can’t keep going on as normal:

You know what types of businesses keep going in times like these? Arms dealers, banks, contractors, and anyone else profiting from war. Do you think they feel guilty about producing, selling, or shipping weapons, knowing they are actually going to be used to kill? Why should we feel guilty selling something that heals people instead? Should we stop helping people, and stop making the world a better place?

creative business coach
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Your creative business is needed right now

If we stop doing what we are doing, because we feel guilty about talking about our ‘futile’ products, then we are doing neither the world nor ourselves a service. I mean, is a bomb less futile and more important than a creative coaching program? I think not. How will the world become a better place, if we all stop doing what we love? If we stop growing our businesses?

We should never stop doing the inner work because of too much going on in the outside world. This too shall pass.

We can show our support to people in need, raise or send funds, pray for victims, anywhere in the world, at all times. And, let’s face it, Ukraine is not the only place in turmoil today; we can all think of places where bombs are dropped and children die. This is not a new phenomenon. Headlines draw attention. And right now, it’s Eastern Europe. In a country that has been in trouble since 2014.

We won’t be able to stop those world leaders fighting over global power, economic resources, and, basically, arguing about who’s got the biggest d*ck. Excuse my language. A flag on our profile picture will not change a single thing, with all the best intentions. But while these big bullies are playing dangerous games in their playground, each one of us, with our creative sparks and our beautiful souls, should continue to make a difference. Be seen. Be heard. Make a difference to someone else’s life, to our local economy, to our online and offline communities. Creating the snowball effect. Unraveling the tapestry of nonsense, one thread at the time.

As creative, critical thinkers we are a global movement, creating change and a wave of goodness and compassion. Maybe not as fast as we would like, but we are. All of my current and future clients, artists, designers, coaches, healers, musicians, retreat owners and event organisers; you are a force for positive, healthy change and evolution. A rose-tinted, naive view, you say? Well, perhaps, but what is the alternative?

Photo by thevibrantmachine on

The small things you can do to keep going

Life is much bigger than this anxiety and dread we are feeling; the threat of danger, the reality of war, and, let’s not forget, the keyboard warriors with the opposite views. When it all feels too much, connect to the heart. Breathe, meditate for a moment, light a candle. You are here in this life to do good. To teach, to help, to serve, to create. And you are also allowed to feel sad. It means you have a heart. But keep going.

What other things can you do, when you feel like there is no point?

  • Finish a small task on your to-do-list. One step at the time. Snails reach their destination too.
  • Go for a coffee with a friend. Talk, connect, laugh, cry. Shared pain is halved pain.
  • Hook up with a fellow entrepreneur and cook up some ideas for future collaboration to spark creative joy again.
  • Write, paint, dance, sing. Express yourself creatively. Out of the head, into the heart. Feel free. The best artworks and songs were created from feeling miserable!
  • If you feel like giving back, then look for ways to support a good cause, by donating some of your profits or giving to charity.
  • Go outside, connect with nature, and open your eyes to your current reality and living environment. What does it feel like? Has it changed?
  • STOP WATCHING THE 24/7 NEWS, or constantly scrolling on social media. It is draining and not needed. Remember when we only used to watch the 8 o’clock news? You don’t need constant repeat messages of fear, every 5 minutes. These channels are propaganda tools.
  • Don’t live online all day. Keep your body and mind healthy.

PS: If you want to get some uplifting, but very sharp pep talk about life and the world right now, follow Toni Nagy. I discovered her recently, and she is my new favourite Insta account.

The very unexpected result I got from working with a business coach

“I want to earn at least 5k a month. I want to generate lots of leads. I want to have a solid strategy for my coaching business for the next 12 months. I want to start a membership. And I want to launch another online marketing course.” Those were the goals I put on my intake-form when I started working with my business coach, six months ago. It was the first time ever that I hired a 1-to-1 coach, and the biggest investment in my business so far. I felt I needed my money’s worth out of this, and I was ready to start building that coaching empire. Six months later, I ended up with something entirely different.

It took a long time for me to say yes to signing up for the 6-month programme with my Canadian coach, even though it was total ‘love at first sight’ for me. I discovered her online, when she did a guest training in another membership, and I instantly liked her vibes. Relaxed, cool, intelligent, and genuine. I want to be like her, I thought.

I started stalking her on social media like a groupie, binging on her content, meanwhile feeling a little sad that I probably would never be able to afford working with her 1-to-1. Months went past, and I kept toying with the idea of booking a free strategy call anyway. When I finally did, I felt all giddy, as if I had just got myself a date with a celebrity. The call was exactly what I expected. I felt she ‘got me’ instantly, she wasn’t pushy for a sale at all, and I knew she was the right coach for me. Then she told me her price. Holy fuck. Yes, I needed time to think about it.

Manifesting money and biting the bullet

Actually, I didn’t need time to think about it at all. I just needed time to find the money. I had to make this work. The following weeks, months even, I manifested myself silly to save up for this big investment. I felt crazy and dizzy even thinking about it, but I had a very strong calling to do this. I did the math, I accepted extra copywriting jobs, and luckily attracted a handful of coaching clients over the summer to add to the funds. I put the money aside, and I figured out that with a little bit of juggling, I could stretch myself. I felt so scared to press ‘send’ on the email, when I finally told her that I was ready to work with her. What had I just done?

After biting that bullet, my mind went into overdrive. I was going to work incredibly hard to get that return on investment. My ambition went through the roof, and I decided that like other business coaches I had seen online, I would become a high earning entrepreneur six months later. Yeah, baby! Bring it on!

And then, something else happened.

My coach, after a few calls, reflected back at me, and said:”Nina, you can totally do this coaching, and you will be successful. We’ll work on that business strategy. But being purely an online coach….I don’t think that is going to make you happy in the long run. You are so creative, you are an artist. We need to give that artist a bigger stage.”

It was the first time in my adult life someone had said this to me. As a child, everyone told me to follow my creative dreams and ‘do something with my art’…but at 18, I put down the paintbrush and went to university instead. Safe, right? I rolled into marketing, because I am a good writer with an eye for design, and ended up supporting and promoting other creatives for the next 20 years. I enjoyed my jobs in the arts, don’t get me wrong, but yes, I often felt a pang of envy, watching someone hang an exhibition, or perform a big show on stage. That could have been me.

Photo by Steve Johnson on

Stop being standard, bring out those quirks!

It took a business coach on the other side of the Atlantic to tell me this, and put me on a whole different track than I came to her for. She said:”You have an edge, Nina, you bring so much to the table. You have a wealth of marketing and copywriting experience…but you also have a creative brain. That sets you miles apart from other business coaches and is really something special. You will be able to help entrepreneurs in a unique way. But it is time to honour your inner artist too.”

She encouraged me to start writing much more personal blog posts and be less ‘standard coach-y’ in my social media content. Not publish posts that could have been written by any other coach. She was right. When I first started my coaching business, I thought that was what my audience expected from me: marketing tips. But you can find those anywhere on the internet. It is too bland.

“Bring out that rebel spirit of yours, show people the real Nina. Write about what you find interesting yourself, it doesn’t matter whether it is about marketing. Share what you’re into right now, your own journey, your creativity”. That’s a bit weird, I thought, but I tried it anyway.

Soon after, I got more leads. People booked strategy calls with me because “they loved my content so much, it resonated with them, and they felt I was so easy to connect with, even in my writing”. It clearly worked, this ‘totally being yourself’ thing.

As I implemented more and more things as a result of weekly speaking to my coach, things started to shift in my life. My income increased too, which was a happy side effect. But what was much more profound, was the joy I started feeling in other parts of my life. Without thinking, I signed up for an abstract art class (called ‘Ignite your creativity’ – how apt), and it has become my favourite morning of the week. It is as if my soul finally feels listened to. Hurray, the paint is back out! It only took me 20 years, haha. Also, because of this shift, I naturally became a happier, calmer person at home.

Finding the missing piece of the puzzle

I had my first ever 5k month while working with my coach. But moreover, I am not the same person I was when I started the programme in September. These past six months have meant to me so much more than any business strategy or marketing plan would; it has dug up my soul purpose. I received a deep transformation in a way I never expected, but I obviously needed. My ego and conditioning were just hiding the truth until now. And sometimes it takes an outsider to point the finger at the sore spot. And that sore spot is healing. It was the missing piece in the puzzle of the inner work I have been doing for a while now, and I am so grateful for that. The journey continues, but the foundation has been laid.

With the support of my coach, I have created more balance, more joy, and a clarity and excitement about the second half of my life. Whereas before, I thought I knew what I wanted, I now know that it was my confused ego and old self writing down the initial goals on that intake-form. It would have taken me so much longer to feel this confident, if I hadn’t decided to work with her. I actually feel more grown-up now.

I went from thinking in a very traditional way about running a coaching business, to realising that I want to have the freedom to choose. I want to be a creative business coach supporting others on their journey, but also have multiple artistic activities and streams of income in my life. Create, connect, and inspire, that is what I want to do. No more stressful full-time working weeks, deadlines, or sales targets. My coach gave me permission to take the pressure off and still attract enough clients, by just being myself and sharing my quirks and personality, in the most authentic way possible. And I do!

I attract amazing clients who I absolutely LOVE coaching. You could be the next one.

My biggest return on investment? Being honest with myself and acknowledging the truth.

No more hiding. I see very clear now what my core values are, and what my soul desires. I have learnt so much from working with my coach, and I am already using some of her teachings in my own work with clients. Because what I went through, many other like-minded people are also going through.

You know, sometimes you find people in your life who you are drawn to for some mysterious reason, because the universe it trying to tell you something. It nudges you in the right direction, and if it keeps nudging, you’d better listen. A coach you had never heard of a year ago, can suddenly become the most supportive companion on your personal journey. Tears, laughter, stories, struggles, you share everything with them, and they guide you with genuine care, and help you grow so much, in such a short time.

It happened to me, and I hope I will be that kind of coach for my clients too.

I’m free for a coffee, come and chat to me

Why you don’t need a morning routine and can stop doing yoga

Stop shaming yourself for not doing a downward dog at 6am

Morning routines. Do you have ones you swear by? I end up swearing when I try to stick to any of them. I am not disciplined or consistent enough at all to follow rigid regimes. I don’t like to be controlled and being told what to do, no matter if it is a boss – or a morning routine calling the shots. Still, in the entrepreneurial sphere, it is looked at as something we all should be doing in order to become successful. But should we? Do these routines really make a difference?

You know the titles and catchy posts I mean: ‘morning routines for wildly successful entrepreneurs‘. Instagram and LinkedIn are littered with them. Posts in which some ambitious person tells us how they always get up at 6am, do a round of sun salutations and downward dogs, sit and meditate for 30 minutes, and then write their goals in their journal while sipping a vitamin-packed green smoothie with curcuma and chia seeds. The extra keen beans throw in a Wim Hof ice bath too before they even open their laptop at 8.30.

Maybe if I was a health and fitness coach…these routines would absolutely suit me. But I am a creative business coach, and quite frankly, no.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The best morning routine for creative entrepreneurs?

I tell you about my morning routine. It consists of being woken up by shouting kids at 7am, tripping over the cats, grumbling in the bathroom, sorting out breakfast and school bags, before finally drinking my coffee in peace at 9am. The only sun salutation I do is on my terrace, saying cheers to the big yellow one in the blue Spanish sky. An ideal start of the day? Maybe not, but it is reality for most of us with families, and we don’t need any more guilt and pressure thrown at us for just trying our best. Well done you, if you manage to combine kids, business and your morning meditation, but it ain’t me.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want us to all stop shaming ourselves for not not doing what we supposedly ‘should be doing’. We have enough on our to-do-lists.

Look at everything you already do well, and have achieved, without copying someone else’s routine. There is always room for improvement, for sure, but celebrate yourself a little bit more. And tune in with yourself, with what morning activities come easily to you. That may be yoga, or that may be just sitting in silence, sipping your tea, reading your emails.

creative business coach
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

Rigid routines don’t really suit a creative brain

I have built a pretty successful creative coaching business, by just sticking to what works for me. I am not one for rigid structures and strict planning. My creative brain, and Enneagram type 7 personality, quickly get bored of that. I am good at executing ideas, and work hard at my goals. But I also stay open to what else may arise, and what feels good in the moment. I read self development books but not weekly, and I meditate, but not very often. I listen to podcasts only when I have the time, and I journal daily, simply because writing comes natural to me. That is how I do it. But why would I claim that this is the golden recipe for success?

We are all different people, with different energies and different ways of doing things.

No entrepreneur is the same. And creative entrepreneurs with quirky businesses are probably not on the same wavelength as someone who works for a corporate business where they are used to operate within a very rigid structure already. Also, when you start diving into personality tests such as the Enneagram or Human Design, this may give you some great insights as to why you work in a certain way, and may not be able to stick to rigid routines. Once you understand better how you are wired, it is much easier to be gentle with yourself and choose what works for you.

You do you. If you love a strict daily routine, by all means, follow it. But all you people out there, who feel guilty and a failure because you don’t have a morning routine, or you don’t digest enough business books or podcasts to help you further – stop it. You are enough. Be at peace with yourself.

creative business coach
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Find what makes you tick, choose what brings you joy

Being successful as an entrepreneur has absolutely zero to do with whether you have a ‘great morning routine’. The key to success in life is to know who you are, and understand what makes you tick. To find the joy and the flow in your life and work, and make sure your business is aligned with your core values. Once you have that clarity, you feel so much more focused already. By all means, take good care of your health, exercise, and read good books. But stop comparing yourself to others. You can be as successful as you like, in your own time.

So relax, my fellow rebel, I salute you and support you! You are awesome.

Schedule a free 30-minute call in my diary if you are ready for the next step in business, and are looking to work a creative business coach like me.

When is it time to call it quits? The signs, the fear and the moment to let go

A little bit of coaching in times of turmoil

Sometimes in life, you start a job – or a small creative business – and it is fantastic at the beginning. You are excited, it all is new, there is so much to learn! But then, one day, something starts to niggle. The spark is gone, cracks begin to appear.

You hate to admit it, but your work and you are no longer aligned. You have outgrown each other.

And unless the job or business grows with you, there will come a point when it all feels out of sync. That’s when we usually enter a time of turmoil and stress. Because, you know something’s got to change, but what – and how?

Tips from a creative business coach

More often than not, we end up desperately holding on to things that no longer serve us, especially when there are emotions involved. We feel fear of the unknown, fear of looking stupid, fear of rocking the boat.

Today I am exploring a topic that most of us will encounter at least a few times in our lives: when to call it quits.

I am a very loyal person myself. And although I sometimes give off the impression that I am involved in many creative projects and ideas, and that I have no problem changing direction, I am not a quitter. When I truly don’t believe in something anymore, I will let go of it, but when it comes to something that I have invested time, love, effort and money in, it is a different matter.

The best example of this is my vintage furniture shop, which I had in Scotland for four years. My first physical business, which I built up with blood, sweat and tears. I would not easily have given that up, if a fire hadn’t burnt it to the ground.

That decision was taken for me, and although painful at the time, it opened up new opportunities that I wouldn’t have seen, had I continued.

But I really should have been brave enough to call it quits myself. If the fire hadn’t stopped me, I would have burnt myself to the ground.

For some time, my subconscious mind had been sending me warning messages before the disaster struck (“Nina, it’s time for a change, Nina, things are not working out, Nina, this cannot go on like this”). But, as you know, our rational thinking is quick to dismiss these messages. So I kept going.

Because I didn’t know how to quit, I was proud of what I had built up, and I still kind of enjoyed it, despite the fact that I had lost my initial spark, and my tank was empty.

But don’t we all just keep going, while deep down we know the truth? Don’t we all keep dragging ourselves forward, pretending all is OK, talking ourselves out of making the much needed change, because we believe the alternative is too scary?

Whether it is giving up your career, pivoting your business, or even deciding to separate from your partner, the thought of making that hard decision will likely give you a great big painful knot in your stomach.

So you lie to yourself, saying “it is not that bad”, things will get better soon, other people have it much worse than you, and at least you have some kind of security. Right?

But be honest: do you still feel any joy at all? Close your eyes for a second, and imagine what life would be like in a year’s time if you did make that change. If you no longer had to go to the job you hate, your business was completely aligned with your current values and dreams, and you had the clarity and freedom to make it happen?

creative business coach
Photo by Laker on

You are capable of so much more than you think

Of course, you feel anxiety around making such decisions. What if it all goes wrong? What if you give it all up, and you end up with nothing? What if you let people down?

The truth is, you are a very capable person. Look at everything you have achieved in your life! The decisions you made before. You have always been able to adapt to new situations. Just because you quit something that no longer feels right, that doesn’t mean that you suddenly become paralysed, not knowing what to.

You know exactly what to do. You are able to get organised, communicate, smooth things out, and build up a new network. Create new ideas and execute them. You can move mountains. But not when you keep yourself chained.

Your subconscious has been giving you signs now for how long? It is just a matter now of starting to listen, and trusting your intuition. Your gut feeling is always right.

Often, when we let go of all the burdens in our life that are holding us back, the cloud lifts and we see clearly what road to take.

No, it is not necessarily going to be easy, but it will be your road, and you will be driving that car.

Freedom and joy are going to be in the passenger’s seat. Vision and ambition are going to power up that vehicle. Can you feel it?

creative business coach
Photo by Pixabay on

When is the right time to change?

When is the right time to call it quits? There probably never is a right time. The only certainty I can give you, is that it is inevitable that there will be a moment when it happens. It is up to you whether you want to take matters into your own hands, or whether you leave it up to life to make the decision for you.

A fire, in my case. In your case, it could end up becoming a burn-out, a conflict, an illness or a depression.

If you are seeing the warning signs flickering on your dashboard, do you normally keep driving your car until you get stranded on the side of the road…somewhere in the dark….in the middle of nowhere? Or do you know what to do before it gets to that stage?

Change is hard. But change is also exciting. Life is a journey and an adventure! And today we have the power to choose between going forward or holding ourselves back.

I recently read a book by psychotherapist James Hollis, called ‘Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life’, in which he talks about these difficult crossroads in life:

“The daily confrontation with these gremlins of fear and lethargy obliges us to choose between anxiety and depression ….  Anxiety will be our companion if we risk the next stage of our journey, and depression our companion if we do not. Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity in us for the toleration of anxiety and ambiguity …. Faced with such a choice, choose anxiety and ambiguity, for they are developmental, always, while depression is regressive.”

You will know in your heart what to do. And there is never a perfect time. At a certain point, all you are doing is delaying the inevitable. And delay will bring dis-ease. Go and meditate today, do some journaling, or go on a long walk in nature, and ask yourself the question: what will I choose in the second half of my life? Will I choose joy? Or am I holding on to something out of fear? For fear we can overcome. And joy will follow.

You’ve got this.

I am here if you are ready to work 1-to-1 with me on your business. Book a free 30-minute call in my diary.

Case study: from wobbly startup to confident studio owner

Jess signed up to a 1-to-1 coaching programme with me in September 2021. She is a young graphic designer, based in Bristol, and she had just started her own freelance design studio. And although she already had a steady flow of clients and enquiries, she felt very insecure about the direction of her business. A year before, she had been sacked from her job as designer for a corporate company, and although she was OK about leaving, it had dented her self-confidence. Who was she to just start on her own? What would people think about her? What if she was going to mess up? This is her story.

Although she claimed she didn’t know what she was doing, it became clear very quickly, that she was indeed quite ambitious. She told me straight on the first call that she:

  1. Dreamed of running a creative studio or agency, leading a team of people
  2. Would want to attract bigger projects for high profile clients
  3. Would be in the position take off time without stress, creating a better work-life balance

She also had some secondary wishes, such as creating multiple (passive) income streams, and adding brand photography to her services. Her biggest wish, however, was to feel less anxious.

creative business mentor

Defining her niche, tweaking her message

Like most of my clients, Jess suffered from a lack of clarity in her business and marketing, which gave her that lack of confidence in herself and her future, and anxiety about whether what she was doing was the right thing.

She felt chaotic in her thinking, with too many creative ideas, and not knowing where to start. Having that clarity in terms of your niche and audience really is the most important thing in your business, and creates so much more calm in your head.

Although, as a graphic designer, Jess already had a clear offer and service, she didn’t have a clear picture of her ideal client. We therefore worked on understanding her core values and the type of clients she most enjoyed working for. She mentioned sustainable businesses, equality campaigns, and not-for-profit organisations as her favourite types of clients, but looking at her mixed portfolio on her website, her work was not reflecting that ambition. This meant that her dream clients would potentially not recognise themselves in the type of work Jess was showcasing, with the risk that they would look for a different designer. Time to get that message clear!

She had already started working on a brand new website, and together we improved the copywriting for it, making sure that her text expressed clearly what she stands for and who she wants to help. For example, we went from generic opening sentences on the home page like ‘Hi, welcome, I’m a graphic designer in Bristol’, to ‘I create purposeful graphic design that inspires, and helps you make a positive impact‘.

creative coach for small business
Photo by Cup of Couple on

A content plan and conquering LinkedIn

To reinforce her message that she is looking for conscious clients in the not-for-profit sector, around topics like sustainability and equality, we also worked on a content plan. What type of blog posts could she write to build trust and authority with the right clients, so they could she knew her stuff? What type of social media posts could she create to help her become better visible with the right people?

We decided to focus on LinkedIn in addition to Instagram, and also made sure she updated her profile and bio, her banner and description, all to reflect her new, clear message. She made a list of key people in her target industries, and made some new connections. Jess then managed to overcome a very common fear on LinkedIn, namely that she was scared of the reaction of peers. Would they criticise her for suddenly talking about sustainability, racism or women’s rights? Some of these topics can be quite sensitive and political, and the last thing she wanted to attract was negative attention. Still, she started to carefully share and post more content that helped to position herself as a designer who cares about these topics, and guess what? Lots of likes, and no nasty comments (of course not!).

Over the months, I coached Jess through both practical aspects of her business (marketing techniques, income goals), and mindset issues. Being someone who tends to get lost in the details, I helped her put things into perspective and make it all less complicated. Working on a clear schedule with SMART goals was a great way to keep the overview and prevent Jess from spiraling into anxiety.

Simplifying business

Next on the list was her long-term ambition to scale her freelance one-woman business to an agency with more people. Jess told me she felt overwhelmed by the idea of growing her business into something bigger, as she thought it would involve a whole lot of admin and organisation. “But Jess”, I said. “Building a team around you does not mean you immediately have to put people on the payroll. You can start by simply hiring freelancers and outsourcing work that way.” She then could get used to the feeling of leading a team without the burden of being an employer.

Scaling your business can start with something as simple as hiring a virtual assistant who schedules your social media posts for you, or handles your emails. And with larger projects, hiring a junior designer to help out, will free up time too, so you can work on securing new clients and doing the more interesting work.

Tools in her back pocket

I watched Jess blossom from being a wobbly new business owner in September, saying yes to any job coming her way and not knowing whether she was going to make it all work, to a confident entrepreneur who “now knows how to reach out to the right people, has tools in her back pocket to build her empire, and feels less anxious when work dries up, because she knows how to plan ahead.”

During our work together, she:

✅ defined her niche, offer and audience
✅ got more clarity about her own values and what projects she wants to accept (and what not!)
✅ learnt how to plan her marketing content and what to post in order to resonate with her dream clients
✅ launched her brand new website that 100% reflects who she is and what she stands for as a designer (have a look, it is gorgeous!)
✅ reached out to virtual assistants and junior designers to start outsourcing work and scale her business in the next 12 months

This is what Jess thought about working with me:

“After working with Nina as my creative coach over the past few months, I am so pleased with the results. Nina has helped me gain clarity on my values and the direction of my business, and has provided me with the tools and resources to make my goals a reality. I have really enjoyed working with her, and would highly recommend her coaching services!

creative coach

Do you want to transform yourself from wobbly to powerful? Book a free 30-minute call to see if we are a good fit. Schedule a call here.

Case study: finding the courage to become an autonomous artist

Visual artist and illustrator Manuela Bianco, originally from Italy but based in The Netherlands, came to me in Spring 2021, for a Power Session. Like most of my clients, she had too many ideas and projects filling her head, felt easily overwhelmed and distracted, and she needed guidance. In those 90 minutes I was able to help her with some simple steps to make her feel instantly calmer, and more in control of her marketing. A happy client, she soon returned with the exciting news that she had been successful in applying for a professional development grant, so she was able to invest in working with me for three months 1-to-1. We embarked on a journey together, where I watched her grow from introverted illustrator to an ambitious artist with big plans. This is her story.

Like many visual artists and makers, Manuela struggled to earn a good income from just selling her work. Her floral illustrations with ballpoint pen are stunning, but she found it hard to find a consistent stream of buyers.

So she offered online and in-person drawing courses on the side, which gave her extra income, so she could pay at least for the monthly studio rent. Manuela blamed the low income from her artwork on her lack of knowledge of business models, strategies and marketing. As often is the case, the true reason was something else.

From corporate career to justifying being an artist

Like so many creatives, Manuela suffered from the common belief that “artists are poor“. A deep-rooted belief, that is not easy to shed, but one that prevents most creatives from becoming the confident business owners they want to be. Also, like many self-taught artists, she had long ago chosen a ‘safe’ corporate career before finally leaving it, but was now struggling with the feeling and insecurity of no longer having a ‘proper job’. On top of this, as an introvert, Manuela also hated being in the spot light and making herself visible online. Important barriers that were all holding her back.

Still, she had big ambitions: making more large works, possibly for high-end clients and interior design companies; starting a gift-ware collection with stationary items, creating label illustrations and printing her work on wallpaper. Perhaps looking at licensing her artwork. She wanted her work to be for sale in more shops and galleries, open an online store, and apply for a spot at art fairs in The Netherlands. Her website needed updated, and she needed a strategy and better organisation of her time around family.

And then there were her drawing courses.

Making brave decisions opens up opportunities

I knew from the start that what Manuela really wanted was to be an autonomous artist, and not a course leader, but as a coach, my role is not to tell people what to do. Instead, I offer guidance and let clients discover their own truths, by asking questions and holding up mirrors. At the start of our journey, the courses were an important part of the business, and Manuela wanted to run them. So I helped her come up with more ideas to promote them.

But as we continued to work together on marketing her offers, it became more and more clear that Manuela didn’t get any joy from offering her courses. They felt draining. However, she was too attached to them, and too scared to let them go. It provided her with a steady income, and moreover, the courses for her were a way to ‘justify’ being an artist. They were “easier to understand for her friends and family than her art practice” (her words, and, of course, mainly a story in her head!), but mostly, they gave her the idea that she was still having some kind of ‘proper job’. An offer led by self-limiting beliefs, and not giving her any joy.

One of the worksheets I gave her, made her realise that she needed to change things drastically. The exercise asks clients to list their offers and give them a green, yellow or red light, depending on the amount of income earned, time spent, but especially joy felt, while doing them. Doing this exercise made Manuela see immediately that the courses were given the red light. But how do you give up something you dislike but are scared to let go of?

As often happens when you say a crystal clear yes or no to something, the wheels start turning, and the magic happens.

The light bulb moment and choosing joy

During one of our calls, two months after starting the programme, Manuela appeared on screen very happy. “I have some exciting news!” she exclaimed. She told me about the revelation that what she really want to do is drawing, not teaching. The courses came from a place of fear and scarcity. “Everything fell into place”, she said, after doing the exercise. “It was a light bulb moment.” After also feeling inspired by one of my blog posts about having a job on the side, she noticed a vacancy for 2 days a week as gallery assistant in one of her favourite local art centres. That was it! “15 hours a week, the same income as I get from my courses, but I now have three days left to focus on making my art instead of marketing and delivering courses.” She got the job.

Clarity and focus for the future

Choosing a part-time job alongside her business as autonomous artist provides her with a better organised week, and more focus on the days that she gets to spend in her studio. The fog has lifted and she now has a much clearer idea of where she wants to take her business. She is now working on creating a couple of large artworks to exhibit in September, which she may turn into wall-sized prints for a big art fair next year. She is finalising her website and launching an Etsy shop to start selling smaller prints and stationary, and will take on more commissions when they come.

During our work together I have seen Manuela grow in confidence as an artist in her own right, and become excited and in control of her professional future as an illustrator. She left her old beliefs around ‘status’ behind, and cares less about judgement by others (although this, of course, is a much longer process than three months!).

We celebrated her getting her first corporate commission, after working on mindset and pricing. We have come up with ideas to come back to in the future to find new clients and approach more places to sell her art. And her courses? She actually hasn’t completely ditched them (!), but will no longer offer them like she did before. Instead, an evergreen online course is in the pipeline, to reach a larger global audience. Exciting!

creative business coach
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Manuela says about working with me:

“When I signed up for Nina’s 12-week programme, I wanted to build a profitable – but also sustainable – business that would allow me to live off the sales of my artwork. I had as many ideas, as I had doubts, and I wasn’t able to focus and make choices.”

“Nina has helped me with an incredible amount of very concrete issues (from defining my ideal client, to approaching local shops, defining the price of my work, securing commisioned work from a corporate client, etc.) as well as strategy and mindset issues that went well beyond marketing. I feel so much clearer and confident about what I want to achieve, and I now know how to achieve it too.”

Are you interested in growing your business and confidence too? Schedule a free 30-minute call to find out how I can help you!

Stop fighting the bear and let go of control. A loving message for the tough cookies.

When playing the strong card no longer serves us

This blog post is a very personal one. Today was a tough day. I am on day 13 after getting sick with Covid, and it has worn me out. I usually get sick with flu or colds at least once a year, so I know the feeling, but this virus is a beast. At least, it has been for me. And perhaps, in a strange way, it is just what I needed, spiritually, and where I am in life right now. Today’s blog post is about acceptance, patience, surrendering, and trusting the process. Sitting with the pain, and working through it. Ouch. As an Enneagram type 7 and manifesting generator (Human Design), these things are hell, but unfortunately things I can no longer ignore.

For the past two years the universe has been telling me that it is time to face my demons, or shadow side, and become more whole. I want to step into the second half of life with confidence, and without the need to constantly wanting to proof myself. Show more self-compassion and stop being so bloody hard on myself. Ask for help. Set boundaries. But gosh, it is a slow process, and I am a slow learner in this area. I have been fighting a grizzly bear for a very long time now, desperate to keep control. But the fight is over. I cannot do it anymore. This is my story, and that of many other strong women.

creative business coach
Photo by Austin Guevara on

Tips from a creative business coach

Resilient and strong…better than vulnerable and soft?

My whole life, I have been strong. The eldest daughter, independent, never asking for help. An adventurer, very organised, able to get stuff done and achieve things. “You are so resilient”, I heard on many occasions, and I wore it as a badge of honour. I am a strong woman. I am confident, capable, flexible, creative, intelligent, brave. That became my identity. Strength.

But by the time I hit 40, things started to crumble. I was tired. My body was tired, my mind was a mess. I had gone through two emigrations, miscarriages, traumatic births, I had lost my shop in a fire, and I was trying to be supportive to a husband with chronic health issues, and who had just lost his job. Identifying as the strong one, I naturally made it my task to hold it all together, sailing the family ship through the storms.

We moved to Spain in 2018, and I briefly felt re-energised. A new environment, sunshine, lots of new friends and opportunities. I carved out a new life within a year. A network of inspiring women, an online copywriting business, plenty of days on the beach. What wasn’t to love? But I still hadn’t learnt to sit with my pain. I was escaping into distraction.

I had never given my past traumas time to heal. Meanwhile my eldest son was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD. My husband was not finding his feet in Spain as quickly as I had, and his health issues persisted. Everyone was jealous of my eternal blue sky pictures, but few knew about my internal meltdown. I kept “playing the strong card”, which was my default behaviour, and I chose to carry everyone and everything, for yet another year.

In 2020, the warning lights came on.

creative business coach
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

In January 2020, I snapped my ACL (knee ligament) during a silly skiing collision with my eldest son. (Knee injuries – if you believe in this kind of thing – are spiritually the sign that your pride and ego are in the way, and that you are carrying too much). I remember feeling so angry and frustrated in those first months of 2020, for being disabled and walking on crutches, needing help, and being dependent. My freedom was taken away from me. I could no longer be strong. I was trying to fight that f&ckin’ grizzly bear again, and the bear was winning. I was imprisoned in my house, and I didn’t even know that a month later I was going to be locked down properly, together with the rest of the world.

In March there was the pandemic. 66 days of a hard lock down in Spain with a disabled leg, two wild noisy kids inside an apartment, and the police driving around the hood to make sure nobody escaped. It was surreal, and it made me feel even more trapped.

Not backing down, and the hard lessons that followed

I finally caught Covid nearly two weeks ago, and nearly two years after the start of this shit show, and it wiped me out. My husband and kids all bounced back after just a couple of days, but not me. The strong one. The captain. The fighter. Brought down to her knees. I thought I had done so much hard inner work in 2021 already, but no, plenty more to do, baby. I even went to my first ayahuasca ceremony last summer, purging out a shed load of baggage. But it took a stupid virus to drag me right back into my process of surrendering. The universe’s way of saying: “You don’t want to listen to me, do you, you opinionated, stubborn woman, with your self-righteous ego and allergy to weakness? Here, take this.”

Every time I felt a bit better, and I immediately started doing stuff, the Covid-consciousness raged through my body telling me to stop. “REST, woman. Stop telling yourself you are weak if you take more time to recover. Just allow yourself to be vulnerable and taken care of, for once.”

Letting go of control is so, so hard for me. I have created this story in my head that if I stop being strong, it all falls apart. And because of this self-proclaimed role of fighter, I cannot stand the moaning and complaining of my children or husband, their aches and their pains, their anxiety and their – in my eyes – negligible issues. “Snap out of it, guys! Pull yourself together! Stop whinging, just deal with it!” I shout. The angry, tired wife and mother, trying to take back control, fighting that bloody bear again, and getting frustrated once again for not getting the desired results.

creative business coach
Photo by Monstera on

Allowing yourself to let go and stop fighting

I listened to a podcast this week by a Dutch woman I follow on social media, and she said something that resonated so much. She said:“I don’t like other people being weak, because I am never allowed to be weak myself.” She was describing how I felt to a tee. It wasn’t the weakness in others that was the real issue; this was about my own longing to be carried for a change.

Why is it so hard for women like myself to let go and show vulnerability? Because we are wired this way. Somehow, during childhood and growing up, we were shaped that way. Eldest children often become like this, and, growing up in the Netherlands, with its ‘no nonsense, roll up your sleeves and get on with it’ attitude, it was not surprising that I too developed this trait. Dutch women pride themselves in being strong, tough and able to handle anything. Cycling with two kids on a bike, in the pissing rain with grocery bags hanging from the handle bars? Piece of cake. We are made of steel. I am no exception. A healthy attitude? No. It wears us out in the end. But we don’t like to admit it. We’d rather die than being seen as weak and needy.

Acceptance, trust and surrendering to whatever hardship we are going through, is an art and a hard lesson to learn for people like me. Be honest; how is this for you? The same? The thing is, you can keep fighting the bear, because you want to stay in control, or you can loosen the grip and make life easier for yourself – and those around you. No more fighting will not make the situation disappear, but it may help us to finally move through it.

My coach said to me:”You’ve got to surrender to the flow and current of the river. It is easier to navigate when you don’t constantly try and paddle upstream. The problem is, as women we want to proof that we can do everything, but nobody else actually cares. It’s the story we tell ourselves, that we are not good enough if we stop paddling hard. We are asking way too much of ourselves.”

The other thing is also, that by carrying everything for everyone else, we don’t give others the opportunity to develop coping skills. What would happen if we for once throw our hands up into the air and say:”You know what, I don’t know how to help you today”. Would it end up in chaos? And what if it did?

How this all relates to your business

What does this all have to do with creative business coaching, you may ask. Everything. What I have learnt more than anything during the process of launching and growing my business, is that you have to understand who you are deep inside, completely, weaknesses and all, because your business is yours and flows from you and who you are. For your business to grow faster, you need to feel good. And that means facing and accepting your shadow, the parts of you that you are less proud of. The triggers, your nasty side, the traits you don’t like looking at. If you want to be mature, and run a sustainable business in the long run, you will need to acknowledge your weaknesses as well as your strengths. If you don’t, they will keep popping up as issues and conflicts until you learn, and they can throw up big stumbling blocks on your way to success.

creative business coach
Photo by How Far From Home on

Accepting all of you, and loving yourself for it

Compassion and softness towards ourselves, that is what many of us strong women need. Just because we own a business, does not mean we cannot show vulnerability, or ask for help. Acceptance that we are human, and admitting that we do not know all the answers, is in fact also a sign of strength and maturity. And it is definitely a sign of self-love and energy preservation. Trusting the process, trusting life, and trusting the ability of others to solve their own problems. It is very scary to let go and pause (what about that bear?!), but by doing so, shifts will happen. We may find that the bear is not a grizzly, but can, in fact, become a teddy. Our loved ones may actually thrive when we give them a chance to figure stuff out for themselves.

Our business, too, may blossom when we take a rest, and build up our depleted energy. TLC, slowing down, doing the bare minimum for a week or two. The world will not stop. Your business will not implode if you take a well needed break. Fuel that car.

So my biggest lesson this week? I need to listen to my body. I don’t have to proof to anyone that my Covid is less severe than anyone else’s. Or that my immune system is so super strong. I will get fully better next week, or even next month. It doesn’t matter. It is nothing in a lifetime. I will accept and welcome this virus as an important message, yet another one, to go deeper inward, face my demons, and surrender. I will sail this river, downstream and with ease, and rest on the banks when I need to, before floating down further, choosing only the tasks that come easy to me. No new courses right now, or fancy projects, and hours of sweating at my desk, but simply some reading, some writing, and the weekly calls with my beloved clients.

Whether I will finally learn my lesson, time will tell. God, I hope so. Still, the ‘I am a strong woman’ badge of honour is sewn tightly onto my chest, and it is hard to take off. But perhaps I can embroider it with flowers, or stick a big velvet heart on top of it, to add some much needed softness. Will you join me in becoming softer, and stop playing the strong card all the time? Here is to my fellow strong women; I hand you a big soft velvet red heart for your chest and a bucket full of compassion to pour over yourself. I love you, and I see you. No more fighting the bear, for there is no bear.

Nina x

Schedule time with me in my calendar

creative business coach

When do you feel ready to ditch your job and follow your creative dream?

Why it often takes half a lifetime before people change

Many of my clients have just left their job situation or previous career, or are planning to leave it soon. They dedicated most of their working life to corporate jobs and careers they chose a long time ago. Choices due to either parental expectations, or, mainly, financial security.

Most of them left their inner creative spirit behind in childhood and adolescence. Or when their job required them to step up into management and stuff got busy.

The happy child who was always drawing, the teenager who wrote deep poetry, the kid who loved spending hours making and crafting things. It’s only years later, when they can no longer ignore their inner voice and yearning, that they feel ready to face what has always been waiting inside them. And that can be scary.

In nearly all families, parents want what is ‘best’ for us, and pass on the doom and gloom message that “you can’t earn any money with that”. And that’s the end of the happy, artistic child and her dreams to turn the world into a place full of glitter.

They choose ‘safe’ over something that is truly in alignment with their true self. And what do we know at that age? Our parents’ messages and advice, in most cases, come from a place of loving fear. Loving, because they want to protect their children from pain and misery. They mean well, but it is the result of many generations of scarcity. The idea that their creative child will end up in poverty, is something they want to prevent at all cost.

creative business coach
Photo by Feedyourvision on

Parents want what is best for us, and ‘best’, unfortunately, in their eyes, is mostly linked to financial success, not joy. It is a common story, and whether my clients grew up in the US or in Italy, it is also a universal story.

So they choose ‘what’s best for them’, finish a degree in law, business administration or nursing, and start their careers. They don’t really think too much anymore about their previous joy and passions, and any creative activity now gets shelved, moves into the background, or, in the best case scenario, is continued as a hobby. Work takes over. Long hours. Stressful times. Perhaps they receive a promotion to keep them going and give them a feeling of being successful. Making mum and dad so proud.

But as the years go by, and often after entering parenthood, the feeling that something doesn’t feel right, creeps in. What have they been doing all those years, chasing a career that gave them money….but very little joy?

What was it all for?
Where’s the glitter?

Things start to shift in them. Some end up in a burn-out. Some go through other crises. Call it a midlife crisis, perhaps, but it brings up some pretty profound questions about their true values and what is important to them. “Who are they, deep down, and what do they really want out of life?”

In modern-day society, we step onto the crazy rapid hamster wheel as soon as we enter school age 4. Work, assignments, projects, after-school activities to be ferried to, tests to do, exams to pass, diplomas to get. Peer pressure. Parental expectations.

We race around like maniacs, without ever getting the time to learn about the true meaning of life, and honouring who we are deep down. We often don’t get to know ourselves properly until we’re hitting the midlife crisis. Nobody takes the time to let children figure stuff out.

Most children are naturally creative, and drawn to working with their hands, but instead maths, physics and languages are regarded as the most important subjects in the curriculum. Art often gets stuffed into the week as a frivolous afterthought and a tick in the teacher’s box. They get the pupils to copy some Pinterest example and stick a couple of googly eyes on a toilet roll. Job done. Back to the maths.

creative business coach
Photo by cottonbro on

The inner creative will never leave you; go and give her some love

But no matter how hard you try to ignore your creative, wacky ideas in adulthood (because you have a serious job and a reputation to keep up, right!), it’s like a weed, it will pop up in your life. because it is who you are, and what you always were here to do. This deep yearning will especially knock at your door at times when you feel down and miserable about your current situation. That is when ideas sprout.

“I’d love to run a tea room one day,” you suddenly think. Or, “I’d love to run creative retreats in a beautiful sunny place.” A seed gets planted.

And the more you think about it, the bigger it gets. Some people keep ignoring the inner voice, and save their plans until retirement. Others, who are braver, take the bull by the horns and decide to go for it.

When do they feel ready to become a creative business owner? Usually after coming out of a burnout. Or when they lose their job. Or become a mother. Or move abroad. Life changing experiences that turn them upside down, shift their reality, and offer opportunities for radical change.

This happened to me too; I opened my own vintage design store 8 months after becoming a first-time mum, 10 years ago. Everything was so different already for me with a baby, plus I had no job to go back to, that I felt less scared to take the leap.

But ready, well, no, nobody ever feels 100% ready. But when the excitement is bigger than the fear, that is when the magic happens. You’ve got to really, really want it. That doesn’t mean those brave souls then live happily ever after, though. Because, as we all know, the choice to go into entrepreneurship comes with a lot of challenges.

Running your own business is not easy (but – Oh – the freedom!), and in that respect our parents were right: the road to financial success as a creative business owner can be a little bumpy at first. But the most powerful thing about taking this road, is the incredible personal development that comes with it. And for that alone, it is worth it.

It is like taking off the veil, opening your eyes to your own truth, and getting full permission to finally be 100% yourself. The playful, creative child inside of you finally gets heard. No more expectations of others, it is now you who calls the shots, and you can be as creative or as wacky as you like, building your emporium.

creative business coach
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

I am ready when you are

As a creative business coach, I get former professors calling me who want to start creative retreats. Ex medical practitioners who dream of writing funny self-help books and running workshops. Former teachers who retrained as a life coach. Lawyers in the process of launching an quirky event business (see case study!).

Clients call me with heads bursting full of ideas, and an eagerness to finally move forward and transform their lives, and that of others.

I help them clear the chaos in their heads and focus on the first important steps; fine-tune their niche, define their audience, and formulate their message. Often times mindset is a big part of the work we do together, to overcome those pesky self-limiting beliefs (thanks, parents!!), and step into our new creative entrepreneur shoes with full confidence and focus.

Whether you have a clear idea already about what you want to do, or you’ve been running your business for a while already, or you feel stuck between a number of different possibilities; as a creative business coach, I help you find clarity and confidence.

Having that outsider’s pair of eyes on your situation can support you in finally becoming who you want to be, and doing the work you were always meant to do. You don’t have to be 100% ready, but you will feel a lot more ready and confident after working with me.

You have everything inside you already, so let’s bring it to the surface. You are awesome.

Book a free 30-minute call if you are ready to transform your life, and build your creative business with me. We’ll have an informal, no obligation chat to see if we are a good fit.

creative business coach and mentor for small business

People are maxed out on information. Cut the BS and start building trust.

Buyer journeys, client personas, marketing strategies, content plans. Courses, programs, training, webinars. Free events, paid events, irresistible offers. Buy-it-now. Email funnels. Reels, stories, groups, pages. Do you feel tired just reading these terms? You are not alone.

I don’t know if it was ‘the Great Pause’ which caused it (a great description that someone in my network used this week), but people are definitely more clued up now on smelling rats. Nobody has any time anymore for sales-y bull sh*t. So stop feeding your followers with typical marketing stuff. We are all tired. But what we do crave, is deep connection with like-minded souls who we can trust. How can you build more trust and create those real connections?

Selling is, of course, what you do when you run a business. That is how you create your income. Obviously. But was this your main driver when you started?

Probably not. You felt a passion, a creative fire burning in your belly, and a strong yearning to share your gifts with others. You wanted to make the world a better place, help people, and create wonderful items, events, or services.

Clients come to me because they feel lost in the marketing department. They feel they need more sales and marketing skills. A strategy. They watch peers and competitors offering freebie downloads, sharing sales pages, and pushing their products. They feel pressure to do the same, but don’t know how. I am going to say something very controversial right now: don’t. Traditional sales and marketing will do nothing for you or your audience. And what makes you think you need to use traditional marketing techniques for your quirky, non-traditional business anyway? Try something else.

In a world of too much information and marketing overwhelm…what would you enjoy seeing online? What would you still want to engage in as a buyer yourself?

creative business coach
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

People online are maxed out on information. There is so much out there, that we are all feeling fed up with hearing about yet another ‘amazing offer’, or receiving unsolicited DMs where we get persuaded to ‘hop on’ a strategy call, only to get pushed into buying some high ticket program by an overly keen coach.

Yes, we know that you are fabulous, and you think that our lives will be empty without your help or product. But we don’t want to book onto to another webinar or training. Download another free PDF that will sit in our Dropbox for months, unread. We are exhausted. Are you exhausted?

Detachment and being real in a shaky world

So, as a creative business coach, what do I think you should do, then? I believe in building trust. Showing up as your own unapologetic self. Talking about what matters to you. Being real. In a world where everything is on shaky ground, be a beacon of light, and shine. Be authentic, honest and transparent, and rather than focusing on selling your services, focus on inviting your audience into your world, and creating real connection. Be a friend, and be of service.

Invite your audience to be part of your tribe, no strings attached. Create content that simply informs and inspires, but not overwhelms. Show people who you are as a person, let them experience your wonderful creative energy. Find joy in real conversations with your audience. Listen. Detach yourself from the outcome. Take the pressure off.

As an example, I offer a free monthly group coaching call for my audience on Zoom. It is not giving me any income, and I don’t know if any participants will ever buy from me. But I enjoy the call. I have great conversations with my audience on these calls, and it is a lovely opportunity to connect deeply with them, and hear about their realities. I try and serve them the best I can, and I learn from them as they share their worries, issues and challenges with me. Most of all, we build relationships.

Whether this leads to paying clients, no idea. But I am showing up as me, and people are able to experience my energy in a live setting. If they like my personality, they are likely going to come again. Or tell others. I am building trust, not doing a hard sale.

Trust is everything right now, in a world where we distrust the media, distrust the government, and wonder when our current reality is finally going to change for the better. We maybe can’t stop the big powers at play, but we can start building tribes of like-minded people. Help each other, reach out. And in this digital age, tribe members can be anywhere in the world. So start building those relationships with your audience and followers, who are clearly drawn to you and your style. Start connecting to them at a deeper level, spark joy, motivate them, and above all: create a sense of belonging.

What does this looks like in terms of creating content and promoting yourself online? Exactly as I am doing right now: write stories, blog posts, record podcasts, make short videos. Share inspiring photos. Organise get togethers. Choose the tool that gives you joy, and your energy will naturally be in it. But please…stop the overwhelm, both for you and your audience. And try detaching yourself from the monetary aspect. When you have built that trust, and people feel ready, they will come. They will. But first build trust.

Have a coffee with me. Schedule your free 30 minutes with me here. No strings attached.

*Here is a short clip from my latest free coaching call, so you can see me in action. 🙂

Set intentions, follow your intuition and nurture your creativity this year

Each January we are told to become a better version of ourselves this year, with overly ambitious resolutions and the obligatory positive attitude. New year, new you! Oh, the pressure. Let’s just ease into 2022, shall we? I mean… we are entering the third year of craziness and ongoing measures surrounding a pandemic. I think it is safe to say we are all a little apprehensive of whatever is coming next. Right? Here are some of the things I recommend you do instead of setting yourself goals that are only making the stress levels go up.

My advice? Set some good intentions, a few achievable goals, and keep doing the things you love. Create inner peace, and look after yourself. Stay close to your heart, and listen to your intuition. It is always right. That, to me, is a better way to start the new year. And way more sustainable.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on

1. Set positive intentions

Intentions are not goals. Intentions are really a mindset thing. Where goals come with a certain amount of pressure (and the guilt if you fail to action on them), intentions are softer, and, in my opinion, a more gentle way to start the year. You make it your intention to do something this year, which basically puts the wheels in motion. An intention sends a message to your brain that you are now willing and ready to make a change or work on your goals. If anything, it will help to put you in a positive mindset. You can say your intentions out loud, but it also works well to write them down in your journal or on your note board.

Examples of intentions can be:

“I intend to write a weekly blog post for my website, so that I add value and improve my SEO.”
“I intend to be more patient as a mother, so that I improve the relationship with my children.”
“I intend to show up more often in videos, so my audience gets to know me better and experience my positive vibes and energy”.
“I intend to go for a walk twice a week before starting work, so I get fitter and clear my head.”

2. Set achievable goals

Setting achievable goals is very important for your mindset as entrepreneur. If you only ever put the bar really high (“I will earn multiple 6 figures this year”), you’re going to feel pretty low very soon. By all means, include a more ambitious goal (“I will start earning a steady 5k each month”), but make sure that most of your goals are actually reachable. Small goals, bite-size milestones. Celebrating these smaller wins will still give you a great feeling, fire you up, make you feel amazing, and keep the motivation up to more forward and work on the bigger goals.

Examples of achievable goals can be:

I will attract two new coaching clients each month by the 1st of April.
I will finish writing my e-book by the 1st of July.
I will have delivered four creative workshops in-person by the end of 2022.

creative business coach
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

3.Build in enough time doing what you love

Yes, I know you are obsessed with your business right now, but are you also building in enough time to switch off and nourish your soul? To get out of your head and work with your hands (or move your body) is a great way to refocus and de-stress. New ideas will come when you step away from your laptop. It doesn’t matter what hobby or activity you choose, as long as you make time for it. I was guilty of ignoring my own artistic self for a long time, and this year I am making sure I have at least one whole day each week to nurture my inner artist. For you it might be cooking, or going for long walks in nature. Spending time reading novels, knitting, playing piano, learning a whole new skills. Whatever it is, schedule it in, just like you schedule in everything else. It helps you to stay sane and create a good work-life balance.

Book recommendation to kick start your own creativity:
The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

This book is all about nurturing your creative spirit and get the juices flowing, by;

  • Writing the ‘Morning Pages’: consistently write three pages each morning in your journal before you do anything else. It is not meant to be art or read by anyone else; it is purely to empty your head and get the worries, overwhelm, ideas and thoughts out of your system and onto paper.
  • Going on a weekly ‘art date’ with yourself. Just you on your own. Take yourself to a museum, a gallery, the seaside, the park, or anywhere else you want to pamper the artist inside of you, and spend time with this (often) very much ignored part of yourself.

creative business coach
photo: Sybilla Michelle Photography

Listen to your gut: it speaks the truth

Your intuition lives in your gut – and it knows the truth. Listen to it. Has your gut been telling you to quit your job for a long time now? is that niggling feeling not going away? Stop ignoring it and start planning your escape. Your gut speaks from your soul, and will always push you in the right direction, that what you are meant to be and do here on earth. That doesn’t mean it will be an easy change, or approved by your environment. But sooner or later you will be faced by this desire for change again, so why postpone it any longer?

I know, we talk ourselves out of things, because of fear. We convince ourselves that “our life is good as it is, and we may not succeed if we change.” Just remember: your rational head is only trying to protect you, it has no idea what you are capable of!

Don’t let your brain take over, like it usually does, talking sense into you. It doesn’t know what is best for you, it will always try and coerce you back into other people’s expectations, safety, and the comfort zone. But be honest: how will you feel at the end of your life if you didn’t even give it a try? You can move mountains, you’ll see. If others can do it, so can you.

What are you going to do differently this year?