is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.
What Does It Look Like | Getting Specific About How a Dream Life Looks

What does your ideal day look like

One of my favorite things about working with creative entrepreneurs and aspiring-to-be’s, is getting to brainstorm what a super dreamy life looks like.

For some creatives it’s the ideal morning that involves white sheets, french pressed coffee, fresh air, and loads of journaling. For others it’s traveling the world. For most creatives I work with though, a dream life is about a feeling of confidence, courage, and creativity. Or something along those lines. When it comes to making that feeling a reality it’s my job, as a creative coach, to ask:

What does that look like?

This question always throws my clients for a loop. “What do you mean?” is typically how they’ll respond.

What I mean is what does confidence look like? What does inspired look like? What does courage, creativity, productivity, joy, peace, happiness, excitement, and love look like? If you can build visuals, textures, and actions around the feelings you can start to bring them into your life on the daily.

Try this: Take out a blank piece of paper and write down 3-5 things you want to feel as you move through life. Or even better, write down a LOT of things you want to feel and then circle 3-5 that really stand out to you.

Then make these feelings real by trying the following exercises:

1. A Cast of Characters
Under each feeling make a list of people who you think embody that feeling and briefly describe how or why. This person can be fictional, historical, a friend or family member, another blogger, or a celebrity. So for example, let’s say the feeling you want to cultivate is “brave”. Make a list of the bravest people you know and specifically why they are brave. Is it because they have a cool wardrobe that you could never pull off? Do they travel solo? Or did they quit their day job to chase the dream?

Once you make this list draw inspiration from these people. Let’s say Amelia Earhart was your character for “brave”. When you’re feeling afraid you can simply ask yourself “What would Amelia Earhart do?” Or you can say “I am Amelia.” to steel some courage. Kathleen Hanna (the lead singer of Bikini Kill) used this very technique when she found herself needing some thicker skin when it came to her critics and internet trolls so she declared “I’m Beyonce.” I love that!

2. Interview
Once you have your cast of characters take a few people from your lists that you could actually get ahold of to interview. Tell them “Hey so-and-so, I really admire how brave you are. I’d love to ask you a few questions about what brave means to you and how you find the courage to do all the awesome things you do.” I think you’ll be surprised to find out what they say about the very feeling you’re trying to cultivate and you’ll discover that we’re all in this together.

3. Make a Pinterest Board for each feeling
Start pinning images that represent the feeling you’re wanting to capture. It can be as abstract or as specific as you’d like. As humans we don’t actually think in words. We think in images and symbols – and those images are different for everyone. For example when I write the word “bear” you think of an animal with fur, right? What color is the fur? Where is that animal? You might be imagining a koala bear eating a eucalyptus tree while I’m imaging a brown bear giving birth in a cave. The idea is to associate the feeling concepts you want to cultivate with actual images so you can start to define, recognize, and manifest exactly what you want.

best way to live your dream life

4. Check-in With Your Feelings
As you move through your day ask yourself “Does this action make me feel [insert desired feeling(s) here]?” If the answer is no an adjustment, big or small – attitude or otherwise, may need to be made. If the answer is yes then keep doing what you’re doing. And you might be surprised with your findings! For example, one of my clients wanted to make it a goal to go on a walk every morning. She imagined it would make her feel peaceful, productive, and centered. But instead her morning walks just made her feel anxious. So she stopped walking and started using her mornings to write instead. And get this – she had been feeling guilty for YEARS for not going on a morning walk.

Another one of my clients loves watching TV and was feeling bad about this guilty pleasure. But when we talked about her current obsession with Mad Men we realized that by enjoying this TV show she was feeling inspired to change her own career to be a bit more like Peggy. Just like Pinterest can help you create visuals for the life you want to live so can TV. But if channel surfing on the couch doesn’t spark your core desired feelings then it’s probably time to move on.

5. Acknowledge Your Feelings When They Happen
Finally, the best way to live the dream life is to find gratitude for your desired feelings as they’re happening. So for example, if you’re at a concert watching your favorite band take a moment to step outside of yourself and say “This is [that feeling]. This is excitement. This is inspiration. This is energy.” Or if you have a random moment of clarity (this sometimes happens to me while showering or driving) take a moment to savor it. Imprint it into your consciousness and say thanks to yourself for manifesting that moment. The more often you can recognize the desired feelings as you have them the more grateful you will be. And the more grateful you are, the happier you are.

If you like this post you might like our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love—in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


Do What You Want | Reframing the 'Have to' Mindset | Braid Creative

reframing the have to mindset

My whole life I’ve lived by the motto “Do what you want.” And it turns out when you do what you want, you get pretty good at making decisions that get you where you want to go. My desire to quit my job led me down the path to being my own boss and starting Braid Creative with my sister. My desire to see Mt. Everest led me to the Himalayas in Nepal. My desire to share my story has led me to helping other creatives share theirs and live what they love too.

Kathleen here, and I realize that “Do What You Want” may sound like quite the selfish motto—a rallying cry of youngest siblings everywhere—but happiness is radiant. And it’s contagious. When you’re truly doing what you want, you’ll find yourself, and the people around you, much happier than if you’re living your life out of compromised obligation.

Now, I’m not saying that my whole life is dedicated to fulfilling every whim of want. There are some things we need to do to function as responsible adults. These responsibilities and duties can start to feel heavy and overwhelming. (Especially if you spend a lot of time on Pinterest and have convinced yourself that everyone but you lives a perfectly curated life amongst white washed homes and dinner parties in fields.) Your job can lead to burnout if you forget what you’re working for. Your relationships can lead to resentment if you refuse to receive as much as you give.

burnout happens when you forget what you're working for

As I went through coaching training with Martha Beck, she suggested simply reframing “I need to” and “I have to” to “I want to” and “I choose to”. For example, “I need to work to pay my bills.” vs. “I choose to work so I can buy groceries that feed my family.” Instead of getting overwhelmed by deadlines, try saying “I’m grateful / thankful / lucky to have so much work coming my way this season.”

Changing your language around your to-do list from “need” to “want” can make huge shifts in perspective—but if that’s sounding a bit too Pollyanna-ish to you, I hear ya. While going through coaching training with Martha Beck, she recommended that if there is a responsibility or task that can’t quite make it from “need to” or “have to” to “want to” then ask yourself the following:

Can I bag it? This means… can you just not do it? I personally believe you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. If you’re in a bad relationship (with a client, a toxic friend, a significant other, a business partner), can you simply break up? If you have a day job you hate, can you quit or just not go in today? If your answer is “No. I can’t just not do it…” ask yourself “why” a few times and soon you’ll get to why you choose to take on this duty or responsibility.

Can I batch it? If you value multi-tasking, you may think about ways you can kill two birds with one stone. So let’s say you need to clean your house—could you organize / donate / decorate at the same time? Or let’s say you need to workout—could you also use that time to also brainstorm your next blog post or listen to a podcast you’ve been meaning to check out?

Can I barter it? This one is my favorite. Stuff needs to get done, but you don’t always have to be the one to do it. Can you pay someone else to do it for you? Or if you’re low on cash money perhaps you could work in trade.

How can I better it? I always recommend a glass of wine and a solid playlist on Spotify to my one-on-one coaching clients when it comes to making tasks like paying bills, cleaning house, or cooking dinner better. But this concept of bettering applies to big things too. How can you make your job better? How could you better the time you spend with friends and family? How can you better your health?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you like this post you might like our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love—in work and life. You'll get insights and exercises like these straight to your inbox! You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything | Braid Creative

How you do anything is how you do everything

Kathleen here. Today's post is just a short and sweet reminder to myself that I wanted to share with you too.

I was in a Braid Method meeting when one of our branding clients (who happens to be a super talented executive leadership coach, author, and speaker) stopped me in my furious note-taking tracks when she said the words: How you do anything is how you do everything. I’m not sure if this sage advice is her own or if she heard it somewhere else, but it really got me thinking about how I live my day-to-day moments—and how those moments add up to become the sum of my whole life.

It’s all too easy to excuse a bad attitude on a “hard day” (and we know how relative that can be).
It’s easy to blame a lack of enthusiasm for life in general on weeks of tight deadlines and back-to-back meetings.
It’s easy to fall into a funk because the weather isn’t just right.
But how you do anything is how you do everything. Regardless of circumstance. Regardless of busy days and tight deadlines.

living life for creative entrepreneurs

The person I want to be designs each and every project with careful craft and attention to detail.
The person I want to be gives anyone who has my attention, from my clients and coworkers to my husband and my son, my whole heart too.
The person I want to be shaves her legs more than once every other week.
The person I want to be dances in the kitchen while making dinner—especially if I’ve had a hard day.
The person I want to be coils up the hose after watering the flowerbeds instead of leaving it strewn across the lawn.

I need to be a little more mindful about the “anything” moments. With that, I want to move through life with awareness that these anything moments are the ingredients that yield my “everything” life. And I want my life to taste like a fresh chocolate chip cookie with a little salt on top.

How you do anything is how you do everything. I think I need to get this tattooed on my forehead.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you like this post you might like our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love—in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

Or check out our Braid Method Branding Ecourse if you're ready to move forward with your "anything" moments and put them into motion with your "everything" business.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.


Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for creatives.

Learn more about how to work with Braid here >





blend who you are & what you do,

share & sell your creative expertise,

attract your dream customers,

& make your business vision real

This ecourse is for creative people like designers, photographers, stylists, lifestyle coaches, wellness professionals, yogis, foodies, writers, bloggers, and creative consultants. Whether you’re just starting out, or have lots of experience, our step-by-step guidance will help you create a brand and business vision that feels more clear, confident, and like the true you.






Want more? Sign up for our exclusive weekly email letters from us, Kathleen and Tara, for insights and advice from our own personal and professional overlap – as sisters, business owners, content sharers, and creative entrepreneurs.

Thank you for signing up for our Braid Letters. Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox and in the meantime like us on Facebook.




Listen to the Being Boss podcast with Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson for candid stories, insights and tips on how to be boss in work and life.

© Braid Creative and Consulting
Website Development by Indie Shopography