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I coach people to plan out calculated risks -- step-by-step. So we take the challenge and create mini-experiments to test out your plan, adjust as necessary, and keep getting comfortable with it. But, as I write in the book, we all fail at something at some time. Rejection is part of life and certainly a professional life and that is okay, but we need to have a support system around us to cheer us on, whether we are riding high or recovering from a disaster.

When you master a fear and win, your life is never the same. Patch: Why 12 secrets? Why not 11 or 13? Were there secrets that you considering but tossed out? McMeekin: The number 12 is a very special number. It is the sign of a whole and perfect harmonious unit. Healing is also a 12 step process, too! Patch: Is it healthy to have secrets? Tell us a secret about yourself not included in the book. McMeekin: I often tell clients with new business ideas or creative projects to be very careful with whom they share them. Creative ideas are precious and you want to maintain full ownership of them until you find good and trustworthy people to partner with.

There are certain secrets that are meant to stay secrets for a while, and maybe even, forever. I also tell new entrepreneurs that their parents who grew up in the depression may get anxious about the lack of security in a new biz and to wait until they have a solid plan before announcing their launch. A secret about myself that is not in the book is that I want to become a major philanthropist in my later years, as I love to give people things! Patch: How much does the way you dress create success?

Do you think it matters more for women or men, or is it equal? McMeekin: With some many people working at home or virtually right now, dressing up is not as much of an issue for everyone as it used to be.

I sometimes am interviewed on radio while still in my pajamas. However, how we look and present ourselves is part of our reputation whether we are male or female. Dressing well conveys the message that we are serious about our profession and we have respect for the people we are meeting with. I always dress up in business casual or more for clients.

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Also, we all need to be marketing ourselves continually, so we need to look like the person we want to be. Dressing up in better tailored attire helps us to get to the next level as we look the part already.

Having our colors done so that we look our best is a very worthwhile investment. Fortunately, the "uniform" look of the old days is gone and we are free to wear color and different designs and still look professional. Patch: How much of your book do you think a man could apply to being successful? McMeekin: Many men have bought my books for their wives, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, colleagues, etc.


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And, many men have self-esteem issues and play it too safe or don't stay focused, etc. All my products are available on my website. Nearby Places. Back to the West Roxbury Patch.

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women

McMeekin: I have been blessed to have many wonderful mentors and insightful friends, but I have to credit a very special woman, Andrea Szmyt, formerly of Cambridge, MA, who died unexpectedly several years ago, with helping me to get on the path of creativity and personal empowerment. Andrea ran entrepreneur groups and taught prosperity workshops and her work impacted many people, some of whom I am still in touch with. McMeekin: Again, I have had many teachers and mentors and a rich life of learning and stimulation. Both of these women are both spiritual and businesses leaders and profound teachers and they have inspired me to keep thinking about taking my visions to the next step, in alignment with self-care and prosperity.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point if not an epiphany that set you on the career course that you continue to follow? Please explain. I got married, left corporate training, released burdensome clients and non-mutual relationships, and started writing again, which had been a lifetime dream, and doing expressive arts and many forms of healing. When you have less energy, you get very clear on how you want to use it and preserve it. This set me on the path to writing my first book on successful creative women and pondering how to best live that kind of expressive life and not fall into the starving artist trap.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education proven invaluable to the success of your career thus far? McMeekin: My educational background has been a solid foundation for the work that I do today as my knowledge of psychology, human development, creativity, and career development serves me everyday. But I am always learning and taking personal and professional development courses and I am currently learning the complex art of Scientific Hand Analysis to help people quickly discover their life purpose and their special gifts, as well as their life lesson, which can sabotage their dreams.

McMeekin: I am very intuitive and right-brained in my thinking and I test out in the 99th percentile of Ideaphoria, which is a rapid flow of ideas, and I always have way more ideas than time to pursue them. So I have had to learn to be ruthless in focusing my time and energy. While I have a great business sense in terms of people and their empowerment, I am now learning to focus more on metrics and have hired new staff to help me to track efforts and their effectiveness in terms of money and results.

I have plans to start a Foundation for Successful Creatives and I need to generate additional resources to do that. No—but a stronger business partner who has the analytics down would have been helpful earlier on. But as my own thinking progressed, I wanted creativity to be a central concept of my business, as people came to me wanting help with a change in their lives as well as a longing to bring into being something new.

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Success simply means a positive outcome or result and my mission is to help people to develop a clear vision of what they truly want in their hearts and souls and then be able to plow through the obstacles and bring that vision into being. My partnerships with clients and readers certainly involves guidance and stimulants for growth and mentoring, but the coaching part of the work I do keeps people accountable, provides feedback and challenges as needed, and encourages people to keep their promises to themselves. Morris: Of all the women throughout history, which five would you invite to a private dinner party?

Please explain your reasons for each selection. McMeekin: As a child I was fascinated with women of courage. Two in particular were Joan of Arc and Mary Queen of Scotts who were willing to die for what they believed in. I would also invite Princess Diana who overcome the horrors of bulimia, the scorn of the Royal family, and an unloving husband and became an ambassador of peace and healing in the world. I would invite Oprah as I think she too overcame abuse and went on to promote truthfulness, literacy, and healing and became a spiritual leader.

I would also invite Meryl Streep who is my favorite actress and I so admire her ability to play so many different characters and I would like to hear what she has learned from that. Women are still only making 80 cents on the dollar at work and many Boardrooms only have one token woman or none. Many women have dropped out of corporate America and are starting their own businesses to escape the sexist games and workaholic hours that are non-family friendly. Certainly there are more women as sole breadwinners so they are pursuing educational opportunities and striving to have more influence and affluence.

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women • ALLURE DECOR

Morris: In your opinion, what is the single greatest challenge today that women face who aspire to become a CEO of a Fortune company? Any advice? McMeekin: They have to have a vision that is multi-faceted and financially viable, as well as humane, and are able to lead from that vision. By which criteria did you select those whom you interviewed? McMeekin: My intent was to interview modern day women who were alive, sane, creative, and prosperous as they defined it, who would provide a wide range of role models for aspiring creative women.

Also, these women had to want to be interviewed and participate in this book project and I had a policy of not chasing people. They either intuitively wanted to contribute and mentor other women with their stories, or not. Morris: Did you encounter any head-snapping revelations during any of the interviews? McMeekin: The vital importance of movement and exercise in the creative process.

How can creative thinking help them to prepare for, avoid or overcome those challenges? McMeekin: They have to be willing to go out on a limb for what they believe in and tolerate not being liked all the time.

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They must believe in their vision and be willing to take on the quest. Creative thinking can help you to find a way to get your message heard and experiment freely until you find the best model. McMeekin: That statement continues to break my heart.