A New Beginning

Often, September feels like New Year. This year, we might like that to be true more than ever! I doubt anyone would object to writing 2020 off and starting over. Let’s call it 2020 take 2!

We all feel like we need a fresh start more than ever. And when that feeling hits…

We Make Promises…

You want to organize everything! You swear you’ll stop procrastinating and follow through on promises. You vow to make fewer mistakes, manage your time and execute your plan.

You’ll arrive at meetings ready to crush it. Inbox zero will be a reality! Now that you’ve spent some time with the family, you realize they’re pretty nice. You swear you’ll step away from the computer and eat dinner with your family!

Back to work! You start work with renewed energy. But then you hit 400 emails in your inbox. And how could your projects be behind already? You’re pedaling like crazy to maintain any credibility. Dejected, you give up on your best intentions. How can you plan when there’s no time?


Soon you’re scrambling for those numbers seconds before the big meeting. You’re working late and through the weekends. Again. You never did organize your projects. And you’re putting out fires. Did I mention there’s no plan?

We Don’t Deliver

No one saw a lockdown coming. We didn’t have a plan for this. And the plans we did have don’t always work with the new rules of the game. If you feel stuck, it’s because you had a plan. And then someone moved the goal posts!

You are not moving forward with your business because your plan fell apart, and you don’t have a Creative Genius-friendly way of rebuilding your plan. You need a new plan that will work with the new reality we all live in.

Simple, right? Instead of waiting for circumstances to change (or trying to change them yourself), you need to build a new plan.

You Need a New Plan

But Creative Geniuses struggle to plan. Most planning systems aren’t built to work with your brain. So, figuring out what to do and when to do it is a long, painful process. And when it falls apart, it’s overwhelming to even think about creating a new plan.

What if January could be different? You’d have to start planning now. Before the craziness of the New Year. But how will you make that happen? That’s what’s missing. The best intentions can’t survive without a plan. You can count on disappointment if Christmas arrives you don’t have a plan to back you up.

In this video, I’ll share the three steps you must take to transform intentions into results. We call that being an Achiever.

First, be clear about the results you want. Do you want to be home with your loved ones for supper? Do you want a less frantic workday? Do you want to be on top of things? No more details slipping through your fingers. Do you want to be someone people can count on?

Second, identify what’s keeping you from those results. Do you have time to plan? Do you know how to plan? Do you follow through on your plan? Do you believe in planning? After all, it’s never worked for you. Or is it all those things? Though it never worked for you doesn’t mean it won’t today. Unless you learned planning that fit your unique brain wiring, you aren’t the problem.

Finally, close bridge the gap with the right strategy. Stop looking for tips and tricks. Adopt productivity-enhancing strategies. If you’re tired of disappointment each year, you need sustainable change in your life. One of the best strategies is to use habits. (And only one of the powerful strategies I teach Creative Geniuses like you.) Habits will let you achieve anything you set out to do. For example, if you want to this New Year to be different, a good habit would help. You could plan your projects every week and to check your agenda every day to ensure you’re on track. Yes, you can do that.

I have seen poor planning trip up my Creative Genius clients again and again. I want to prevent you from losing precious time to our “drive to do more” as an unwitting victim of poor planning. Here are 3 signs you could be a victim of poor planning

3 Signs You’re a Victim of Poor Planning

I have seen poor planning trip up my Creative Genius clients again and again. I want to prevent you from losing precious time to our “drive to do more” as an unwitting victim of poor planning.

Here are 3 signs you could be a victim of poor planning:

First, you are crazy busy all day, every day.

We are all under pressure to increase productivity. We need to get more done, to deliver more, to perform better. Since no one has offered more hours in a day, this turns into a constant drive to work faster.

When you can’t work any faster, you start working longer. You start work earlier. You keep working later. Even when you’re with your family, your mind in on work.

Second, your To Do list has become a To Do BOOK!

Do you try to increase your productivity with a To Do list? As it grows longer, do you start keeping lists of lists? Do you have post-it’s reminding you about your To Do’s, because your To Do list is so long, if you add an item, it could be years before you see it again?

Third, you haven’t planned a vacation!

It’s summer. You should be planning a much-needed break! But if you don’t know if you can take a vacation this year, poor planning is robbing you of precious time. Not time at work. Time at the cottage. Time with your family. Time with your kids.

If you find yourself wondering if you can take time away from your work, poor planning is robbing you of the most precious time – time to spend with your family and friends. So, you be the judge. Are you a victim of poor planning?

Stop Being a Poor Planning Victim

If you are, don’t worry. It’s not too late! You can turn things around. All you have to do is to commit to planning. Start small. Make a plan, and deliver on that plan. How?

Block out one hour on your agenda tomorrow. Set aside that time to do something you want to do. It can be work – but it can only be work you choose. Protect that hour. Guard that hour. Tell people you’re not available. Lock your door, turn off email, hide if you have to. Then, when it’s time, do the thing you planned to do.

3 Toxic Myths You Believe About Planning

I’ve taught hundreds of Creative Geniuses like you how to plan using the Plan to Succeed Formula. It brings together the three essential ingredients for success as a Creative Genius – the Achiever’s Mental Game, the Achiever’s Game Plan and the Achiever’s Playbook.

Getting your Achiever’s Mental Game, or mindset, right is the #1 thing you have to do if you want to succeed as a Creative Genius entrepreneur. You can be the secret of your success, or you can be your own worst enemy.

THE Most Important Thing

The most successful clients are those with the right mindset and attitude. They’ve adopted the right beliefs about planning. (Yes, you need a Creative Genius-friendly approach to planning. But unless you believe that’s possible, you’re stuck.)

It’s myth-buster time! Time to re-align your perspectives and make things right.

Myth #1: “I can succeed as an entrepreneur without planning.” At least, I hope that’s true because planning never works for me!

Creative Geniuses struggle with planning (and/or following a plan once they make one). You struggle with making a business plan – “I don’t know what I’ll do next week, let alone over the next year! I can’t even plan for tomorrow!” So, you tell yourself…

“I’m my own boss. I can do what I want when I want!”

As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats. But the truth is, to succeed in business, you need to coordinate the efforts of a team (even if you are playing all the roles.)

If you want more than a glorified job, where you work alone and you’re always scrambling to deliver on your promise – all those balls you’re juggling WILL come tumbling down – you must create a plan (for today, tomorrow, next week and next year!) And you must be able to follow that plan.

Myth #2: “To plan, you need discipline.” But that robs you of your freedom, and stifles your creativity and spontaneity!

This is SO not true.

Creative Geniuses hate people telling them what to do. Rule breakers and out-of-the-box thinkers, you swim against the current. Make your business plan, or book an appointment in your agenda, your automatic response is “No, I don’t want to!”

Having a plan “feels” like you’re being controlled. But when you create your own plan, you’re the one in charge.

And the truth is, if you don’t create and follow your own plan, you put other people in charge. Without your plan, you’re at the mercy of other people’s demands. “You’re not doing anything right now. So, I want you to…”

The ultimate truth is that by creating and following your own plan, you have a “magic shield” preventing people from controlling you, your time and more importantly, your energy. When they ask you to do what they want, you can say, “Sorry. I’m already booked. Can I get back to you…?”

I have trained many clients, Creative Geniuses like you, who are able to make planning work for them, so I know you can too!

Myth #3: “No planning system can work for me.” I’ve tried all the most popular (and expensive) ones. None of them worked.

I can understand why you would believe this. I watched Duane, my Creative Genius husband, go through this same struggle. He tried Franklin-Covey, Day-Timer and so many more – some worked for a little while, but in the end, they all failed – thousands of dollars (along with lost jobs and failed businesses) out the window!

And as a coach, many of my Creative Genius clients tell me how they were burnt by systems that aren’t designed for them.

The truth is, your brain is unique. Your business is unique. Your life is unique. The perfect planning system for you doesn’t exist… YET! But by mastering key Creative Genius-friendly strategies, you can overcome time blindness, plan like the visionary you are and create your own custom planning system that will work for you.

Why is believing in these 3 myths problematic?

The Achiever’s Mental Game brings a new way of thinking about time. If you believe these myths, you will not plan. You will not even try to learn to plan. You won’t seek guidance or help. And soon you’ll give up on having a better business and a better life.

As a coach, I help Creative Genius entrepreneurs create plans and deliver on those plans for a living. I have seen breakthrough after breakthrough. I know it’s not impossible – it’s not even difficult – for Creative Geniuses to plan. But you need the right strategies and the guidance to create your own perfect planning system.

I’ve taught hundreds of other Creative Geniuses the Plan to Succeed Formula, which lets them plan their own way. And if they can do it, so can you. You’re right that traditional approaches to planning won’t work for you. But with a planning approach created for Creative Geniuses, you can do this.

Four Secrets for Making a Dream Come True

You can travel to Italy… or wherever you want to go… or to make any other dream you can imagine come true.

My husband, Duane and I have been in Rome for almost two weeks of our four-week trip we’re taking to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  This is a dream come true, and what’s even more amazing is that we’re doing it all without borrowing any money.  Nope, we won’t even have a big credit card bill greeting us when we get home.

Let me share some of the secrets that allowed us to take a pain-free, debt-free one-month trip to Italy:

We used delayed gratification.  Two years ago we decided we wanted to do something special for our 25th anniversary and chose to travel to Italy, home of some of the most amazing art in the world (Duane is an artist and has always wanted to see Michelangelo’s work firsthand).  In the past, Duane, an impulsive ADHDer, would have called a travel agent, booked our flights and figured out the rest later.  We’ve learned that this is the hard way of doing things, after all, how can you enjoy a trip that is sinking you deeper in debt?

Instead, using the wisdom acquired from past mistakes, we estimated how much it would cost for such a trip in May 2009, and began to plan what it would take – knowledge, money, paperwork, and reservations – to actually make a month-long trip to Italy.  It was quite a stretch for us and we wondered if it would be possible.

We created a plan.  We began by identifying two or three steps we could take that would bring us closer to our dream.  We looked at our options for travel and accommodations.  We listed all the things we wanted to see. We started to figure out the financial requirements and did research.  The more we learned, the more steps we could add to our plan, and sometimes we discovered we had to go back and make changes to our plan, but that was easy to fix, and it wasn’t stressful as we knew we had plenty of time to adjust.  Too often, people put off taking any action until they have all the information, but if we had made that mistake, we never would have made this trip.

We fed our dream.  It’s difficult for any ADHDer to maintain focus on some far-off objective, and Duane struggled to remain motivated without impulsively booking the trip right away.  We allowed ourselves some instant gratification in seeking out art and travel information about Italy.  We borrowed books from the library and purchased others, regularly consulting books, maps and pictures of Italy to make the dream more real.  Duane consulted art books to map out what he’d go see first hand when we finally made it to Rome and Florence. We planned, discussed, and dreamed about Italy for two years. This allowed us to remain motivated and made us far better prepared for the trip when it was time.  It was also a lot of fun!

We created a system. Duane’s standard approach to taking a vacation was to go; he’d run up the credit card bills and then deal with the fall-out upon his return.  Sometimes it would be several years between vacations as we scrimped and saved to pay down the debt, and I’d be stressed during the vacation watching the charges mount, and we’d all be stressed when we arrived home, knowing the huge bill that was waiting.

We wanted this trip to be different, so even though it was the biggest trip we’d ever taken, we developed a plan and created a system to accumulate the required funds BEFORE we left. We opened a bank account and set up automatic monthly deposits. At first, we felt the pinch of the diverted funds but very quickly adjusted our lifestyle and avoided over spending. We changed our credit card to one that provided travel points and carefully managed our spending so that the majority of our purchases went on the credit card to accumulate points but was completely paid off each month.

For extras on the trip, Duane even started to accumulate his loose change.  Each day he would carefully hide away whatever change was in his pocket.  We weren’t counting on this money, but small efforts really can add up – over the course of two years, he accumulated $2,160 in loose change, a very nice bonus.  You should have seen the teller when we staggered into the bank with his load of change!

I’m writing this article, sitting in my apartment in Rome.  We’re taking the day off from sightseeing because we just spent three glorious days exploring every nook and cranny of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and the only stress I feel right now is whether we should go to Venice this weekend, or if it would be less crowded if we waited until after the weekend.  Does that sound like a dream to you?  It did to us, and we made it come true.  What dream will you make come true?

Arrivaderci from Rome!