Black and white photo taken in Central Park by Joana Miranda

I wish I could say that Week 34 of Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit was earth-shattering for me.  But, interestingly enough, what DIDN’T work for me this week taught me even more about myself, than some of the excellent information I’ve received from this program over the past weeks and months.  The focus of this week was on “mind-maps;” specifically, outlines and action plans that Chris has created for himself when developing information products like the Empire Building Kit and Art and Money.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m in awe of how Chris’ mind works – but you’ll have to trust me on that since I respect his wish to keep these charts available only within the Empire Building Kit.  Perhaps, because my business involves creating art and not information products, I’m less inclined to take a left-brain approach.  (Or course, that may also be why so many people have heard of Chris Guillebeau and relatively few have heard of me!)

Ironically, along with the insight that maybe I’ve got a defective brain, I actually found the example of a rejected mind-map that Chris shared with us to be the most educational and inspiring.  (Chris, are you reading this?  I think your scrapped plan has great potential!)  By the way, Chris mentioned that he usually outlines 3-4 major projects for every one he decides to follow through and develop.  I’m heartened to hear that I’m not alone in moving through and scrapping creative ideas.

Chris wrapped up the week with a look at Emperor-in-training, Amanda Hampson, a published Australian novelist who is expanding her reach through writing workshops.  A visit to her blog brought up this wonderful video of J.K. Rowlings 2008 Harvard commencement address.  If you’ve ever felt like a failure, have spent sleepless nights worried about the future, or wondered if you have the conviction to believe in your imagination, then you’ll probably be as moved, inspired and grateful to see this video as I was.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.


  1. mom says:

    Now that was a graduation speech to end all speeches. Am so glad I heard it, what a great lady.

  2. I thought so, too! Can’t even remember IF we had a speaker at my graduation, let alone what they might have said at all…

    Love you,

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