The Coach is a monthly installment where we interview one expert on any given topic that relates to the pursuit of living a creative life. We welcome and encourage thoughtful discussion in the comments of this post.

Name: Cyndie Spiegel, Business strategist and coach specializing in creative female entrepreneurs.

Topic: Getting on track to achieve your goals

Why: We all know the story - January 1st comes along and we’re full of determination and willpower, we’ve set our goals and we’re confident that this is our year. And then February comes and some of that enthusiasm has started to wear off. By May, you can hardly remember what your New Year’s resolution is. With half the year behind us, let’s talk about setting goals and executing them.

Most people have heard of business coaches, but how would you describe what you do? 

Coaches help you find perspective within the everyday "muddle" of life . A coach keeps you focused and on-target for reaching your business and life goals. We help you to identify income opportunities that you may not be aware of, we brainstorm your ideas and provide feedback which allows you to grow more quickly.  Coaches are amazing connectors, resources and accountability partners. 


What set you on this career path? 

Prioritizing learning and trying new things while in the midst of my full-time job allowed me to have a wider perspective of what was possible and it changed the path of my career.  

I went back to school for a Master's degrees in global business , became a yoga teacher and traveled the world while working a full-time job.  Doing those things set me on a path of discovery and understanding  in a way that sitting in an office (even a really nice one) could never have prepared me for. 


How have you set yourself apart from other business coaches? 

I'm a business coach that comes from the global fashion business and yoga world.  My style of working with others is very much represented by that.  Most of my clients are fairly young creatives who are seeking someone that they can connect with on both a creative and strategic level. 

I have a wide lens because of my own varied background so I'm able to intuitively support others in kicking ass in whatever they are working on.  

You’ve chosen to focus primarily on creatives, specifically women. Why those two groups? 

I spent many years in Product Development as a liaison between creative and the business minds. I've always worked well with creatives. After leaving the corporate world and teaching many of my design students; I realized that women were especially susceptible to certain challenges that I inherently understood.  


What are some of the common problems you see men and women struggle with in creative business? 

Many women lack the confidence to really  be bold and stand out (or stand-up for what they believe in.) Many men allow ego to be the drivers of decisions without considering all the angles which can lead to a very limited perspective when it's needed most. 


What are some of the differences you see between how men and women approach creative businesses? 

Men say yes and then figure it out. Women say no until they can make it perfect.  

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learn from the best creative business leaders? 

I learned that failure leads to success from Seth Godin. 

I learned the importance of showing your work to the world from Austin Kleon.  

I learned that women can kick-ass professionally  by following their dreams while supporting other women from Marie Forleo.  

I learned from Ira Glass that the quality of your work is not necessarily equivalent to your taste level when you start working on something new. It takes awhile to  get to that sweet spot of truly finding your voice or making your mark. 

And I've learned from Lenny Kravitz that you can be a rockstar forever as long as you keep working and sharing that with the world. 


Creatives are often full of ideas and pursuing several projects or businesses. We tend to tow the line of being a “jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none”. Do you have any advice to people who are bursting with creative ambition and struggling to organize their pursuits? 

YES. First, show yourself grace. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is your creative venture. To build  a solid foundation takes a lot of patience,  time and repetition.   

Second, "single-tasking" is the new black. Try it. Write down all of your ideas but do ONE thing and complete it before you move on. Eventually, with this practice, the most relevant ideas will come to the forefront , which will automatically help you to organize and prioritize your thoughts. 


Can you provide 3-5 tips on how to set goals and execute them? 

  1.  Goals List: List out all of your goals into three "buckets" based on when they can be achieved; "Way Later" (1 year +) , "Soon"(6 months +) and "Right F'in Now" (immediately).  Use whichever words feel right to you. Prioritize the list based on importance i.e. If something will cause your business to flounder, do that immediately. Ideally, everything will not be in this category. If it is, you should re-look at how you're running your creative biz from a day to day. Hire a coach to help you strategize and refine your goals. If you find that you are getting through the immediate goals seamlessly, start to break down some of the tasks needed to complete more long term goals.  Breaking them into their smallest parts makes reaching your goals much  more accessible.  
  2. Single tasking: Once you agree upon your goals, use the Pomodoro Technique to single task, which essentially is about doing one thing, completing it and then moving on within specific blocks of time. It's genius and works with the part of our brains that wants us to compete + beat the clock. It's huge for getting shit done. 
  3. Admin Hours: Finally, dedicate a set amount of admin hours each day to not "making."  Goals are most difficult to achieve when your mind is in a million places, like emailing, social media, placing orders for supplies, catching up with friends and making your art. By dedicating time daily to taking care of these other necessary parts of your biz,  it allows you to bucket time for doing the other work necessary to achieve your goals.  

For more on Cyndie Spiegel and business coaching, check out her website:

Photos courtesy of Cyndie Spiegel.



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