Why did I write this book and why now? For years, my readers of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor (Conari Press) have written me asking for a follow-up book and a special Journal book too. Well, both of your wishes have come true as this new book is out already and the Journal book The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Journal is due out in two weeks, but more about that later.
We are in the midst of a work and lifestyle revolution right now. Women are leaving companies and starting new businesses in droves and hiring people as they grow, virtual companies are now happening which gives us choices about where and how we live and work, and we are switching from the age of logical thinking to the age of conceptual thinking where right brain skills like design and story-telling are in vogue. Our right brain talents are much harder to ship overseas and are fueling a creative Renaissance.
In a recent survey of 1500 CEO’s, they identified creativity as the leadership skill of the future. We all have the software to be creative, but for many of us, we got shamed or criticized about our clever ideas or we were wrong, and our creative sparks are smoldering beneath layers of fear and lack of confidence. My new book will blast through all that and get you excited again about your potential. This book can change your life if you open up your heart and soul and let in the stories of 31 remarkable women and do the myriad of Challenges that I have created for you to guide you in tapping into your gifts and dreams.
Forget relying on some corporation to take care of you—there are only a few folks who are in that boat. You must become CEO of your own life and start designing it. This is a time to take your best ideas and leverage them into a heartfelt, prosperous business that supports your Life Purpose and your values. You don’t necessarily have to be an entrepreneur—you can build a division in someone else’s business, as long as you always keep other options open, stay networked in your field, and keep your resume updated. You company could be bought at any moment, the CEO could drop dead with the new folks bringing in their own team, or you could get reassigned to a boss who is a tyrant. As we get older, a high percentage of us will have some kind of a business to supplement our income. The ravages of Wall Street’s greed and unethical actions have put a big dent in most people’s portfolios and Congress has Social Security on the hatchet list. Scary, isn’t it?
These are all reasons that I wrote this book and wrote it NOW! Women are already behind financially and we live longer, so we need more money. Too many women are slogging it out in jobs they hate, sandwiched in between children and elderly parents. A recent study at Brigham and Women’s hospital showed that women who have jobs where they cannot use their creativity and have little decision-making power have a 50% increase in heart attacks and heart disease is a terrifying finding. We don’t just need our creativity to be fulfilled and have an edge in the marketplace; we need our creativity to be healthy. New stats indicate that 80% of men and women are stressed about their jobs. When I was a school social worker, many moons ago, while I loved working with kids, I became fascinated by the fact that the parents were all stressed out about their jobs and unhappy—which of course had an impact on the kids. It was at that point I got a Certificate in Human Resources Management and took courses in creativity and coaching and shifted my business. I wanted to impact those statistics and my Life Purpose is Passionate Mentor with Heart and a Writer/Speaker in the Spotlight. I love to inspire people to take positive risks and develop their talents and passions.
So what is success for you? Forget your family scripts, what you are doing now, and your insecurities. In my book, I give you examples of successful women doing everything from being an astronaut, a politician, a coach, or a watercolor painter. I talk in great detail about the pitfalls of being a highly creative woman, such as being severely self-critical, as perfectionism can be paralyzing and prevent highly creative women from ever releasing their completed work into the world or finishing it at all. There are a whole list of gremlins you must defeat to claim your true gifts and prosper and feel content. Each chapter has a series of Challenges from me to guide you in discovering your own personal, heartfelt success. The time is now to begin to make a plan—life is a creative act so start scripting the show you want to star in.
Gail McMeekin, M.S.W. is a career and creativity coach who can be reached at www.creativesuccess.com. She is the author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor (Conari, 2000), The Power of Positive Choices (Conari, 2001.) and her new book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women: A Portable Life Coach for Creative Women (Conari, 2011.)