Bizz, bizz, buzz, buzz – ouch!


With it finally looking and feeling like spring in Wisconsin, the Baby Bumblebee song from the soundtrack of my Girl Scouting days flew into my head today. Unfortunately this little gem of a diddy also tripped my earworm – ugh…

Here’s the silver lining of the earworm being tripped – the first two versus of the Baby Bumblebee song actually buzz with some solid wisdom:

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,

Won’t my mommy be so proud of me,

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,

Ouch! It stung me!

It takes courage to go after your big idea or big dream with intent – especially when it takes every ounce of bravery to reach out and grab it.

With the seemingly hard part of catching the dream behind you, you begin settling in. You feel proud of bringing home your big, glorious dream.

And then bam – you get stung by your dream. A new twist or challenge you hadn’t quite anticipated. Landing this big dream was a bit messier than expected.

It’s the stings though that pack the whollop of new learnings and insights. A whollop ultimately enhancing your big dream.

Go out and catch yourself some perfectly, perfect baby bumblebees. It will be worth the stings!

photo credit: looking for a home. via photopin (license)

Back-up Plan

Meet Katie Mattie, author, speaker, filmmaker and blogger who is this blog’s first guest blogger – what an honor Katie – thank you!

Katie is one of the country’s important voices who works diligently to be the change she wants for the world. If you haven’t watched Katie’s TEDx talk from earlier this year it is an absolute must.

11202618_10153283970477082_8782138653829808836_nBack-up Plan by Katie Mattie

Sometimes you have a perfectly perfect plan of where you’re going in life. Sometimes you have a big dream, and every day you work toward making that dream a reality.

Sometimes your big dream comes true instantly.

And sometimes you have to dig into your back-up plan. Sometimes you have to dig into back-up plans B, C, D, E-Z to make the big dream come alive.

Wherever you are on your journey, your dream is still waiting for you. Your job is to figure out how many back-up plans you’ll have to use to get there.

So…are you brave enough to get to plan Z?

Honey of a chance

2268587409_45b9f80b0eRemember when you expended every single molecular ounce of energy, creativity and chutzpah getting someone you really, really liked to like you back? When you desperately wanted them to take a chance on you? (Cue ABBA’s Take a Chance on Me.)

Sometimes you become so busy working to get others to like you or morph into the person you think they’ll like, you neglect the extraordinary opportunity right in front of you. The opportunity to take a chance on your own perfectly, perfect Queen Bee self.

The chance to launch your big, important dream.

The chance to write the novel you’ve been editing in your head.

The chance to say yes to hanging your own shingle.

The chance of you is now. Go ahead – take it.

That’s all I ask of you honey!

photo credit: Honeycomb via photopin (license)

Birds of a feather

9873391966_3b1cd4b98b_qOver the past few days, in those last lingering dream moments before waking, I’ve imagined birds chirping.

Again, this morning, chirping birds.  Much to my delight the chirps were emanating from a flock outside my window and not a lingering dream state.

This flock, tenaciously chirping in these loathsome frigid temps, are indeed a hardy group. I’m thrilled to know that despite the temps, this flock of determined chirpers are here to (eventually) herald spring and summer.

As you begin to think about your work, your art, your big dream, establishing your own personal flock can be especially helpful. These birds of a feather flocks are sometimes referred to as a personal kitchen cabinet or a personal board of directors. A group of trusted advisors, who will stretch, shape, challenge and eventually herald your big dream.

Another tremendous benefit of identifying your own advisory team? They serve as the necessary foil to your inner mean girl who doesn’t believe in your ability to achieve your vision and your dreams.

Gary Hollander who is launching his encore career later this year, writes about identifying what he calls his Board for Himself. Gary shares the criteria he used and how he engaged his Board for Himself. He outlines how the group pushed and challenged him as he developed his encore career with a focus on community.

Whether you’re planning an encore, your big dream or starting to create work you’re putting into the world, find your flock. A hardy flock who will chirp and herald perfectly, perfect you through all the ups and downs of your dream, your idea, taking flight.



photo credit: <a href=”″>Bokeh Birds</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;


“No backsies” is one of my favorite lines from A Bargain for Frances, a children’s book by Russell Hoban. The line is used as one character Thelma dupes Frances, the story’s protagonist. Thelma convinces Frances to give her something she wants.  Something that Frances has worked for and Thelma has not.

7188627In the absence of a duping, “no backsies” approach, the opportunity for generous “backsies” is possible.

Backsies is something we can all do – giving back to honor the people and the places which have set us on our path towards our big dream. Backsies might come in the form of volunteering, financial support or taking time to write a letter expressing gratitude.

As you work towards your big dream, take a moment to give backsies to the organizations and people that have helped perfectly, perfect you along your way!

Target obsessed

When you begin that big project at work, one of the first and important elements to identify is the target audience. Who is this project being made for? Who will this project be important to? Who will this project reach?

FullSizeRender-49As you begin contemplating and developing your big dream, what role and how important is the target audience?

Are you pursuing your big dream or idea because of the target audience?

Or, will you pursue your big dream in spite of the target audience?

Seth Godin, best-selling author, entrepreneur, marketer, and speaker offers a point-of-view about target audiences. He frames thinking about your work, or as he refers to it, your art, in a refreshing and humbling manner. Seth says, “Here, I made this. You may like it. You may not like this.” Or, “Here, I made this. This may be for you. This may not be for you.”

His point is, make the art, do the work, that is important to you. Pursue your work, your art, not because you’re going to become famous or even make a living once your dream is reality. Rather, do the work, make your art, because it matters – even if it only matters to you.

In reading singer and songwriter Grace Weber’s recent journal entry entitled, “Create. Release. Repeat.” I believe she shares a similar point-of-view about making art that matters. Grace writes this:

“In contrast to our current beliefs as a society and to my own past recurring thoughts, I need to believe that the role of the artist is not to attain fame or ‘greatness.’  The only goal is to create. I am seeing more clearly now that an artist’s true role is to release creations into the world and let them do what they may, to throw their pebble into the pond and hope it might create a ripple or two. At times, that pebble can create a tsunami of change. Other times, it may only resonate in the bones of a few fish swimming by, but either way, we still throw our pebbles in. I believe the artist must accept a life of creating and releasing, creating and releasing, without the attachment to what may come of the work. If we can accept that, I think we can welcome whatever life and our art may have in store for us.”

Do the work, make the art that only perfectly, perfect you can make in spite of the target audience.


Your voice. Your work. Your art.

You matter.



photo credit: <a href=”″>_DSC3105</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;

Laissez les bons temps rouler

FullSizeRender-48Your big dream and that big project you’re leading at work require enormous energy in addition to everything else you’re managing. It’s no surprise that every now and again you encounter an energy sag.

When the energy sag sets in, it’s challenging to let the good times role – especially when that sag kicks your “get up and go” to a curb around the corner and several blocks away. A debilitating kick with enough force that the original energy sag is now a full-on fizzle.

In your solitude of your banged-up and bruised self sitting on a cold and uncomfortable curb, the reasons to give up on your dream or your big project become clear:

It was a dumb idea in the first place.

I don’t have what it takes to implement this idea.

No one thinks this is a good idea.

I’m not talented.

This is too hard.

I’m tired.

While you very well may be tired, all of the other reasons are emotional rationalizations induced by your energy sag and fizzle.

The fix for your fizzle?

Stand your perfectly, perfect self up from the curb, take a deep breath, and let your inner Kenny Loggins or Kirk Franklin rip because:

This is it

For once in your life

Here’s your miracle

Stand up and fight

You and your dreams are the miracles always worth fighting for!

Laissez des miracles rouler!


Grab your umbrella – it’s raining

Rain is an interesting metaphor.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the metaphor to communicate the more challenging times presented during a life time in his poem entitled The Rainy Day: “…Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary.”

Sales people use the metaphor to equate working diligently with highly effective sales.

Gene Kelly used the metaphor to dance, splash and sing about love and hope.

When the rain falls, as it inevitably will, recognize there are multitudes of ways for your perfectly, perfect self to process the metaphor. Sometimes that processing will require you to hunker down and wait out the storm or you may choose to splash through the puddles.

However you choose to process, my wish for you is to always shelter your big dream with an umbrella of love and hope.


FullSizeRender-47Life is once

Life is short

Act upon your dreams!

What dream action do you have planned for this week?

Consider scheduling several twenty minute blocks of time with your perfectly, perfect self, to begin taking action on your big dream or project.

Maybe it’s sketching out some thoughts in a notebook or meeting with a trusted, supportive friend to help you map out your next action step.

Say hello to your new week – ready, set, action!

250 – 500 words

As the snow swirled in the Midwest today and I lamented having not gone to the grocery store yesterday, we hunkered down researching summer pre-college programs for our high schooler in between foraging an empty refrigerator and pantry.

Not surprisingly, each of the applications for the summer programs requires a response to a similar type statement that reads something like,

“In 250 – 500 words, tell us what you are passionate about and what you hope to learn during this summer program.”

This statement, requiring a response in application after application, got me thinking about my own work. I realized it is an excellent statement to respond to even if you’re not looking to enroll in a summer pre-college program.

FullSizeRender-43Just think, in 250 – 500 words you have the opportunity to quickly deduce if your perfectly, perfect self is passionate about the path you are on. In just 250 – 500 words you can ascertain if you are being pushed to new heights that spark new ideas, new thoughts, new learnings. In about a half-page of words typed in an 11 point Times New Roman font, you will reveal quite a bit about whether or not your path is the one that fills your heart, spirit and mind.

What will your 250 – 500 words reveal about your path?