While cruising the South Pacific in late 2016 (ooh that makes me sound rich and up myself), my husband and daughter were getting ready for bed in our cabin, and I was setting myself up in bed with my Sharpies and my spiral notebook ready for a night of mindmapping. This is nothing unusual, I do it almost every night. I brainstorm ideas about everything: my career, my schooling, my daughter, my fitness (or lack thereof), holidays, dinner parties. Anything and everything.
On this particular evening, I was watching Fixer Upper on the television. Usually, while watching Fixer Upper, I keep myself busy by stalking Joanna Gaines on all of her social media platforms, but we had no internet on the ship, so I began brainstorming business ideas. I was nearing the end of completing my uni degree, but still had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Nothing I had done before for a job really excited me, and I was looking for something I could put my heart and soul into.
I had created and printed off a brainstorming template before we left, so I wrote and scribbled all over it. When I create my templates, I leave room for me to sketch and doodle, and I place words and questions all over the paper to help me flesh out ideas. I told my husband I should start a professional brainstorming business because I do it so much. Seriously, I have notebooks, journals, and even scraps of paper with my ideas, scribbles and doodles all over them. My husband just looked at me like I was whacky (because I am), so I had a little chuckle, snorted, and got on with playing with my pens and other stationery that had required me to bring an extra backpack with us on the ship.
And then I pulled out a book I had brought along with me to read. It was the Daring and Disruptive Playbook, by Lisa Messenger. This book is full of questions and prompts to encourage the reader to create a manifesto of their ideal career. It was right up my alley, and I loved that Lisa had created such an awesome interactive product. It was like the printables I had been creating for myself, all compiled into one book..
My mind started ticking, and I stared into space thinking about how I really should create printable templates for other people to use to plan and brainstorm ideas on.
Then I stared into space a little longer thinking about what a spunk Tom Hardy is.
“Lynda, you aren’t thinking about Tom Hardy again, are you?”
My husband can always tell when I am thinking about Tom because my eyes glaze over and I start to foam at the mouth.
I snapped out of it, and then did what I always do whenever I have an idea that excites me: I brainstormed it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and for the rest of the cruise I was madly writing down ideas for templates, and wondering if there was anyone else in the world who loved creating life and business plans as much as I did.
When I got back home I got stuck into researching my idea. I read websites and listened to podcasrs, and was soooo excited to discover there are a whole tribe of people who love planning, brainstorming and doodling. Like, REALLY love it, just like I do. I also researched whether people would be interested in buying printables off the internet, and was delightfully surprised to find there is a huge market for it.
Why didn’t I think of this idea earlier? When I’d heard people talk about following your passion, I didn’t think I had one. I hadn’t thought of my planning and stationery addictions as passions. They were just part of who I was. In fact, everyone usually teased me about it. I didn’t think I’d be able to create a business from something I had been doing all my life, but when I bundled it together with my love of writing blogs and my affinity for creating printable planning templates, I got VERY excited about the potential of it all.
Now, I know that thinking of a business idea that excites you can be hard. Not all of us have an obvious passion to follow, which can be frustrating for those of us who want to have a career or business we love. However, I believe that passion can be cultivated. In other words, if you don’t have a passion to follow, then create one. The trick is to really put some thought into your likes, skills, and opportunities. I’ve created a free questionnaire to get you thinking and narrow your focus on the things you are good at and enjoy. You can get it here. And if you are really serious about finding a business that is a right fit for you, then check out the Business Ideas Brainstorming and Doodling Pack.
My aim is to help other life-loving doodling fanatics feel the same as I do. So, print off a few templates, grab a few pens and pencils, get yourself comfy, and use the templates to create a passionate and purposeful life. Sounds fun, right? It is!