Balance #3: Sorting the Shoulds from the Coulds: Staying motivated and making good choices

Our latest Balance talk was all about sorting the shoulds from the coulds… staying motivated, making good decisions amidst chaos, and finding the right path to a future you’ve had a hand in inventing. Pondering all of this with me, and offering insights-a-plenty along the way, was Andy Gibson, founder of Mindapples, and between us we covered a LOT of ground (as you’ll see from the video below!). 

Joining us, around 50 or so lovely folk from across the creative sector, calling in not just from around the UK but from France and Portugal as well. (This is a picture of me, Andy and some of them, saying good bye to each other while we practiced out BSL signing of the word ‘motivation’!) They too were incredibly chatty, so there’s lots to get into in the video, while lower down in this blog we share the crowd-sourced list of brilliant business planning questions we all built together during the session!

And if you fancy yet more still, please do sign up to our community list to find out about our next Balance talk, on 23 September, all about Creative thinking, innovation and staying positive.

You can also come along to our Balance drop in session next Weds (26th August). More info on that HERE.


Here’s some we made earlier

Want some of that?! (And who wouldn’t?) Check out the video we made of the session that we’ve handily embedded right here! An hour’s worth of friendly chat about planning, getting motivated and making the right choices. With a lot of hopefully helpful anagrams to make things easy to remember!


Meanwhile, if you want the edited highlights, do check out Sarah Singleton’s graphic illustration of our conversation, created live as she listened in from her studio in Essex.


And do check out our brilliant crowd sourced business planning questions

We talked a fair bit about how demystify business planning, that it can be really helpful to rethink it as ‘inventing your future’, that the planning is more important than what the plan looks like, and that it should start with what’s important to you. For good measure, I shared the hub’s KNEES – a set of criteria that we use to decide what projects to develop or say yes to – along with my own personal equivalent, which I try to use to guide HOW I work.

Based on a game I ask people on my business planning/inventing your future courses to do, we crowdsourced a really great set of business planning questions, all starting with either why, what, where, when, who or how. Here’s what we came up with in just 60 seconds….

  • Where do we want to focus our efforts and resources?
  • Where is our target market?
  • Where are the people we need to partner with?
  • Where do we go to find our customers?
  • Where will our customers find us?
  • Where do I feel my ideal client lives?
  • Where is my focus and where should it be?
  • Where do we draw our energy and drive from?
  • Where am I right now and where do I want to get to?
  • Where do I want to be?


  • What are the problems we are trying to solve?
  • What problem are we solving for the client?
  • What income do I need to live the life I want?
  • What do I not want to do?
  • What am I selling?


  • Who are my partners?
  • Who is going to promote me?
  • Who did I work with enjoyably?
  • Who made me happy with my work?
  • Who would like my work?
  • Whose help do I need?
  • Who would be a good partner for this project?
  • Who cares about this?


  • Why do I care?
  • Why should anyone else care about it?
  • Why are we doing this?
  • Why would people ‘buy’ from you?


  • When do I want to progress?
  • When it’s finished how would I celebrate?


  • How does my business plan fit with my values?
  • How will I reach my customers?
  • How can I help in a way that helps me too?
  • How do I want to feel day to day?


Finally some good reads, views and other things some of us love!

The chat (verbal and side bar) was full to bursting with recommendations, so here’s a quick round up of people’s top reads, listens and resources. Thanks to everyone who shared…

  • My business planning pointer for people who think visually is Jennifer Lee’s The Right Brain Business Plan. It’s a great business planning book for a lot of creatives. I also gave another shout out to Busy, by Tony Crabbe. I bought if for 2 quid in a charity shop, and it genuinely changed the way I think about time. (He’s a great speaker too!)
  • This TEDx talk about why we’re so tired during the pandemic was recommended by Tracey.
  • For thinking about what you have to offer, she also recommended the Clifton Gallup Strengths Finder, which helps you identify your innate strengths, while Louise recommended the VIA Character Strengths Survey for the same thing.
  • Tracey also recommended the Dragon dictation app for when you’re trying to think creatively without scribbling at the same time.
  • Finally, Carl shared this Daniel Kahneman lecture on intuition and making choices


That’s it for now, but do check out some other Balance goodies!

You can find out more about our first Balance talk, all about why you need to balance your mind if you want to balance your books HERE. And if you’d like some tips on dealing with anxiety, overwhelm and uncertainty, check out our second talk HERE.

And of course, don’t forget to sign up to our community list to find out about our next Balance talk, on 23 September, all about creative thinking, innovation and staying positive.