Your Personal Treasure Map

8 06 2010

Several years ago after reading Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, I sat down one afternoon with a stack of magazines, scissors, glue, and paper to create my own personal treasure map. Minutes into my project, my youngest daughter wanted to know what I was doing, and shortly the two of us were sitting on the living room floor each working on our treasure maps.

A personal treasure map is a collage of your ideal life (ideal = an ultimate object or aim or endeavor, a goal) that creates a visual tool to focus your creative energy in the direction you wish to go. 

Visualize your ideal life.  Close your eyes.  Some questions to ponder may include:  How do I want to live my life and who lives with me?  What does my dream house look like?  Where is this house located?  What is the yard like?  Do I have animals?  What kind of vehicle(s) do I drive?  Where is my office located – in my home or at a separate location?  Do I travel and if so where? 

Search through magazines and find pictures of your ideal life.  Cut them out and arrange them in a collage on poster board, in a booklet format, or a framed picture collection – let your imagination guide you.  If you cannot find pictures, you can draw your ideal life. Find a photograph of yourself that you really like.  (You must be looking radiant and happy.)  Cut out your picture and place it in the center of your collage.

Ideally, your picture collection should be representative of each of the 4 human dimensions: Spiritual, Mental, Physical, and Social/Emotional.

At a recent women’s networking meeting, someone mentioned that she laminated her vision board (personal treasure map) and mounted it in her shower so that each morning she could focus on her life’s direction. Someone else remarked that if you can’t find a picture that represents one of your goals, have a photograph taken of you sitting in your ideal car, in front of your ideal home – you get the idea. You can also cut out words or phrases that resonate with you.

Since first creating my personal treasure map, several pictures have come to life. I have spoken at conferences, I do have a back deck to relax on, I have a well setup home office, and I set aside time regularly to relax, read books, and listen to music.

This week pull out your collection of magazines and spend what will be the most rewarding hour, creating your personal treasure map.

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Coaching Small Business Startups


An Expert’s Touch

4 05 2010

BreadI had carefully followed the recipes for making bread, but each loaf came out flat and heavy like a doorstop.  Lamenting to a friend about my failed attempts, she invited me to her house to watch and learn how an expert does it.

She didn’t measure the flour! She meticulously measured the other ingredients but added the flour a cup at a time until she had the right touch – sticky but pulling away from the bowl. She let me touch the dough so that I understood what I was aiming for.

Do you know someone who is an expert in an aspect of their business? Perhaps they are great at networking, customer service, online retail, hiring key staff, or launching new products. You could read up on the topic and muddle your way through. Or you could do as I did and ask for an expert’s help.

I am always surprised by how quickly others are willing to share their experience – to be a mentor. What aspect of your business could use an expert’s advice? Who could you approach this week to seek out that help?

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Your Unlimited Potential
Coaching Small Business Startups

Love, Swing, Hate

26 04 2010

Do you spend most of your time trying to convince people that they should love your product or service? 

My youngest sister April shared with me the advice she received for presenting at seminars: “1/3 of your audience will instantly like you, 1/3 will instantly dislike you, and the last 1/3 haven’t yet made of their minds. Don’t waste your time trying to cater to the 1/3 that dislikes you.”

What is it about human nature that won’t allow us to accept that some people just won’t like us? Rather than spend time and effort trying to coax people into loving our product or service, focus on those who already love us or those who haven’t made up their minds yet.

The advice Dr. Gary Rhoads gives in Boom Start: Super Laws of Successful Entrepreneurs is to focus on the Love Group – your loyal customers. Discover first what your loyal customers love about your product or service and then take that message to the undecided and the uninformed – the Swing Group. Build your energy around comments from the Love Group and then use that energy to sell to the Swing Group. Let the Swing Group see your product through the eyes of your Love Group.

This week discover what your Love Group loves about your product or service. Then share that message the next time you are networking with potential customers.

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Your Unlimited Potential
Coaching Small Business Startups