When I took a sabbatical a few years ago, I decided that my theme/purpose was Creative Renewal. I set off for Europe with no itinerary, but plenty of notebooks. Anything and everything that caught my fancy was recorded and composted.

Like all sabbatical takers I had interviewed, I consider it one of the best things I’ve ever done. However, I continue to take regular jaunts to inspire my self and nurture my creative spirit.

Even a day trip can yield results if you’re open to it happening. Why not explore a new gallery or visit a unique business? It can be time well spent.

On a trip to Minneapolis, Alice Barry suggested we pay a call to Wild Rumpus, the imaginative children’s bookstore. Somehow I had never managed to get there when lived in the area.

It’s such a magical place, that I’d include it on any future trip to my old hometown. And if I lived nearby, I’d have it high on my list of places to go if I was in need of a creative jolt.

“The ability to put everything aside, leave your surroundings and simply absorb is the only way for me to keep from getting burned out on design  and on life in general, “ says interior designer Genevieve Gorder. “Travel awakens every sense. There is never a time you return from a trip and don’t have a new idea.”

That’s precisely why I’ve made a commitment to travel more this year sharing my most popular seminars in new locations around the country.  This endeavor has also had some pleasant surprises that I hadn’t anticipated.

At next week’s Joyfully Jobless Weekend in Milwaukee, one of the participants is coming in from New York. There seems to be a pattern evolving here.

The Houston and Phoenix Weekends both had folks who’d come from afar. One of the Phoenix participants, who lives in New York, then urged a friend of hers from Seattle to fly to Las Vegas for my seminars there.

During one of the breaks, he told me that he’d traveled incessantly with his previous job. Then he laughed and said, “Coming here was the first time I’ve been on a plane in six years.”

He sent me a message from the airport while he was waiting to return home. I was delighted when he wrote, “Thank you so much for your wonderfully informative and thought provoking seminars. It sure was worth the trip to meet you.”

If you’re ready to give yourself a creative jolt, you can participate in a Weekend in your own backyard—or across the country. The distance you travel isn’t nearly as important as the commitment you make to investing in your life and business.

And if you’re feeling really frisky, there’s the upcoming Mastermind Magic with Terri Belford and me in Nashville on April 21-23. You’ll have the opportunity to nurture your next project/dream/endeavor in a distraction-free, supportive session with other creative thinkers.

By the way, the Early Bird pricing, which ends on April 1, will save you $100.

Not sure it’s worth the  bother?

Consider this: Artist and writer Danny Gregory reminds us, “When you are iin the deep end of the pool surrounded by others full of energy and ideas and examples, you learn to swim a lot better.”



Last week my 8-year-old granddaughter Zoe dropped something off at my place. As she was heading back down the stairs, she said, “I’m so excited. I’ve got a surprise to tell you about. Here’s a clue: ny.”

NY? Not yet? I was not solving the mystery.

A couple of hours later, I was at Zoe’s house and she couldn’t wait to tell me the news. Her family had decided to visit New York in October. This is their most ambitious vacation so far and Zoe was already bursting with excitement.

“There are museums and parks and I get to see The Lion King,” she exclaimed.

“I need to earn money,” she said—and she was wasting no time. “Do you have any paying chores for me?”

I expect  I’ll be hearing that question frequently in the next several months. When she came for a visit on Saturday, The Trip was on her mind. She had calculated that she wanted to raise $180. She and her father had figured out that her monthly goal for fund-raising was $20.

We brainstormed some options and I volunteered a small amount as seed money. She was off and running.

When Zoe was working her way through the Harry Potter series, every encounter with her began with an announcement of the page number she had reached. I suspect that I’ll be having regular updates on her money-raising project in the months to come.

More importantly, I’m happy that Zoe has become a practicing goalsetter at such an early age. It’s a tool that far too many adults don’t possess.

How many lovely goals and plans are abandoned because of the all-too-common approach used by the frustrated? It goes something like this: inspiration strikes, a  wonderful idea appears, then resistance kicks in with the dreambashing thought, “I don’t have the money for that,” and the idea is dead.

Do that often enough and inspiration goes elsewhere.

On the other hand, those who live with a steady stream of exciting ideas they’re bringing to life go about it in a very different way.

First, they decide what they want to do. Then, they figure out how to finance it. Perhaps it involves creating a new project to generate cash flow to fund the dream. It nearly always turns on creative thinking and uncovering hidden options.

It probably calls for some sort of tradeoff. In Zoe’s case, she may have fewer play dates with her friends while she’s helping her grandmother out. She’ll also resist the temptations of Toys R Us and use the library more and the bookstore less.

Of course, this won’t feel like deprivation to Zoe. She’s serving her apprenticeship in the fine art of building a dream.

“The mightiest works have been accomplished,” said Walter Bowie, “by those who have kept their ability to dream great dreams.” I’m going to do my part to make sure that Zoe stays in that group.

Best of all, there’s plenty of room for all of us if we are bold enough to ignore the can’ts and hows.


Want to spread some entrepreneurial spirit and acquire more dreambuilding tools? Then join me for my upcoming Joyfully Jobless Weekends. I’ll be in Houston on February 15 & 16 and Phoenix on February 22 &23. Y’all come.