Big Ideas, Pretty Pictures and How to Recover From a Bad Year

This is Megan.  She is a badass.

This is Megan.  She is a badass.

I like to call myself a “creative.”  Basically, what that means is that I get distracted by pretty pictures and big ideas, and spin in circles trying to get things done unless I have a deadline.  Like, a major deadline, where people will die if I don’t get done whatever I have signed up for.  Ok, maybe no one will die, but you know what I’m talking about.

While that sounds like a solid business practice (it isn’t), I am here to say it really hasn’t worked for me these last few years (why would it?).  In fact, I sometimes wonder if my real full time job isn’t just constantly sabotaging any real business efforts and goals I create for myself.  Oh yeah, and goal creation?  That’s another thing I kind of suck at.

Don’t cry for me yet.  I’m actually lucky.  A few years back I joined a collective, which you may have heard me talk about before, called The Hivery.   Back then, it was just like 10 of us women, cuddled in the top floor of an art studio on Caladonia, talking about where we would all be in 3 years.  Well, it’s 3 years later (oh my gosh, I can’t believe it – also maybe its 4 years later – have I mentioned my inability to register time linearly?)  Let’s just say that while I was chasing butterflies and magical moments, my friends at The Hivery have accomplished some serious stuff.  And they all have one thing in common – they listen to the gospel that is Megan Flatt.

Yes, I saw the writing on the wall years ago.  (Literally, she has a “Next 90 Days” mini class where she gives you a huge poster and you cover it top to bottom in ideas via her signature post-it note process.)  I stared at that post-it note poster every day for a year.  But analysis-paralysis kept me from making even one big decision.  Should I redo my website before I get a new big editorial client?  Is that work portfolio worthy?  Am I a total hack that needs to just hang up my camera, and go back to chasing a career that kills my soul?  Self doubt, poor time management – and let’s be honest - a double dose of pre-menopausal depression – was getting in the way of any real progress.  Sure, I had my business, and I was working with clients.  But was I really challenging myself?  Was I really finding my next big adventure with my photography?

I signed up last year for Megan’s MasterMind group, and I quickly turned into Eeyore.  Everyone (but me) had huge business disruptions (in a good way) that catapulted them into 3x the success they were when they started.  But, me – I didn’t.  I convinced myself that I was an anomaly and my creative process couldn’t be rammed into a to-do list with buckets and post-it note ideas. 

This is last year's planner that I didn't fill out one page of.  Until December.

This is last year's planner that I didn't fill out one page of.  Until December.

 And, my worst decision yet – last year I bought her CEO Planner and (don’t kill me Megan) I didn’t fill out a single page until December.  Yes, December.  Let’s be clear, the decision to buy the CEO Planner was smart beyond belief.  The decision to not use it – well, maybe not so smart.

So this year, I am doing what any creatively inspired, procrastinating, poor time manager would do (if they were smart, that is). I’m finally using all the tools that I have been thinking about, staring at, shifting around on my desk. And this year, thanks to Megan, I have a freaking plan.  I have goals.  Real goals with metrics, and timelines, broken down by the the month, week and day.  I now know what I need to get done every day to track towards what I’m trying to accomplish.  And I am finally breaking down how I plan on achieving them.  Novel – and Megan, if you’re reading this, you’re a total genius (which, for the record, I’ve always known.)

So, what are the tools I’m using?  Well, there are lots my friend.

The number one tool for me (and it works a lot better if you use it) is her CEO Planner.  I’m happy to report that I’m actually filling out the pages this year (in January).  Unfortunately, if you are reading this and didn’t already know about her CEO Planner, you’re slightly out of luck.  For one, she sells them in small numbers only at the end of the preceding year.  BUT the good news is, she has a few left that you can nab, if you’re quick. (just email her at

Beyond the CEO Planner (and yes, this sounds like a commercial for Megan - but it’s really a love letter because she is truly a genius) she can offer up one-on-one sessions with you in what she calls a Private Mentorship.  It really doesn’t get any more helpful than that.  I have notes from some of my sessions with her from last year, etched in gold, and framed in my office, so that when I do finally get around to revamping my pricing, I know how to do it.  (Well, OK, maybe not framed and etched in gold, but that notebook is my lifeline.)

I’m begging you – don’t chase pretty pictures and big ideas.  Well – actually do.  BUT at the same time, check out her website, and listen to her.  Turns out, she really knows what she’s talking about. 

For Megan Flatt products, Mastermind programs and (the awesome-est) Private Mentorship – go to her website.  It’s a game changer.  You can thank me later.  And if you don’t believe me, she has some free offers that might just change your mind.

P.S. While you are at it, sign up for the event at The Hivery on Feb. 15th.  I did.  Hopefully, I will see you there.