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Your Secret Dream – Your Own Creative Tiny Business?

Do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to have your own shop? A little creative business of your own? Sort of a secret dream you haven’t told anyone about?

I’ll bet I got pretty close to the truth there. Most every creative person I’ve talked to has a dream of their own Creative Tiny Business. Something small, but fulfilling; manageable and sustainable.

Creative businesses are one of my passions. And, to help creative folks like you make and sell better things, I’m launching a new project to help you start your own creative tiny business. It’s going to be in early release soon!

In the meantime, if you’ve got business dreamy questions, head over to the Shiny Designs Facebook group and catch me there. I would love to hear from you!

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The Creative Process in 4 Understandable (but not necessarily easy) Steps

Creative Process Schematic
Click to download

The creative process can be broken down and explained like any other process – from how to produce a slide presentation to fabricating steel thing-a-mummies*. Once you understand the process, you can use it to produce results.


The process starts with a question, problem or challenge. Sometimes it’s a project with a business purpose like an e book or white paper. Other times, it’s in response to a need, either in the market or inside the company, like a non-boring informational video or an instructional course.


The investigation phase is about research and gathering information. During this phase, you collect background material, begin to form project goals, make notes and sketches and other ways of recording ideas. Classic brainstorming is often used to illustrate this phase, but that’s only one small part of the process and is insufficient as preparation


This is the black box of creativity. You’re not actively searching for a solution, just mulling everything over. The basic ideas and information are there but they need time to form and mature. Because this phase involves both the conscious and subconscious minds, you may not be fully aware of the process.  This is the part of the creative process that is most easily disrupted with distractions, hustle and hurry.


The classic Aha! moment. An idea has matured to the point of being consciously grasped and often springs up as a surprise epiphany.  These ideas frequently come at times when your mind is diverted but not wholly absorbed – driving, in the shower, housekeeping, cutting the grass and similar activities. The biggest challenge is capturing the idea immediately before it dissolves, so write it down!


The shiny new idea is examined and construction begins. Evaluation is also part of this stage in that you begin to consider the idea for feasibility and it’s often adapted and changed. Then, work begins with writing, drawing, filming, etc.

Caution: Don’t kill good ideas before their time by prematurely examining them. It takes several perfectly good ideas to arrive at one that will be taken to fruition.

Many times you’ll try multiple avenues and even different ideas before you find the one that will lead to the end point you have in mind. These starts and re-starts cycle back through the prior steps in tighter circles as you rework and hone your ideas. This is the most labor intensive phase of the process as well as the most visible to observers.


Finally, after first drafts and edits and perhaps even a total do-over, you have your finished project. It almost never looks like the idea you envisioned but it is a fully formed creative product that has never existed before. Time to celebrate!

We all use the creative process in different areas of our lives – from hobbies to home décor. This is a simplified version, but it gives some clarity. Take it a step further into business and get results you’ve only dreamed of that will bring you the business you really want.

If you’ve got a project you’d like to make happen but don’t know how to start, drop me a note and let’s talk about it.

*The Tin Man’s undead cousins.

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Blazing a Path: An Artist Reinvents Her Life and Business

In Flames - Koh Tao june 2008

True Story: Melissa Dinwidie

Today we’re taking a peek into the creative business of Melissa Dinwidie who expresses her creativity in art, music, writing and helping others follow their own creative bliss through teaching, coaching and consulting. In her words, she’s “a Multi-Passionate Creative ARTrepreneur and Creativity Enabler.” You can find her and her wondrous array of talents on display at Living a Creative Life. Continue reading Blazing a Path: An Artist Reinvents Her Life and Business

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A Money Story

Metro Bank launch - magic money machine
Creative Commons License photo credit: EG Focus

Magic Thinking

This is a little story about a business owner, let’s call her Silly Sally, who’s running a business that is doing just OK but not growing and thriving like she wants. The reason, you see, is that Sally has some funny ideas about money. She has magic thinking about money. She thinks that money is the same as intangible attributes like respect, self worth and even security. Continue reading A Money Story

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Treat Your Money Like Toilet Paper

Dead Roll
Creative Commons License photo credit: GorillaSushi

Do you run out of money? Doesn’t everyone?

Here’s another question. Do you run out of toilet paper? Not very often I’ll guess. Now, you’re thinking what does one have to do with the other?

They really are the same thing at least in the way you manage them. You use the same skills to keep your household in paper as your money flowing. Continue reading Treat Your Money Like Toilet Paper