Today kicks off day one of a creative entrepreneurship retreat I’m attending in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The fundamental question to be answered here is “What is the unique gift you can leverage that has a value in the marketplace people will pay for?” Great question, and the process of seeking the answers is even better. Instead of a dry, run of the mill business development course, this program uses visual journaling to help tap into the subconscious and embrace the creativity that so often lies dormant.

I’ll be documenting my progress over the course of this week.


The Place :: Hacienda Mosaico

The workshop is being held at this great little artist retreat/B&B. Mosaics everywhere, friendly staff, and an amazing atmosphere to get creative juices flowing.

Day 1 :: Workshop

In a way, it was like being back in art class in elementary school. Equipped with a blank journal, craft paint, and smocks, we began filling our background pages with color.

“What do I really, really, really want?”

This was the prompt for the first set of pages. There was a time limit to write a freeflow of ideas that came to mind. Probing your heart of hearts, deep down. After the words were written, we were given time to go through magazines and tear out imagery and phrases that resonated with our desires.

The next step was to begin fleshing out the “Creative Entrepreneur Mandala.”

Today we started with “Heart & Meaning.” As we assembled our pages, some prompts were ‘What matters most to you?”, “What are you most passionate about?”, “What do you do for its intrinsic value?” Here’s what I came up with:

As a final step, we were asked to do “Field Notes” on our pages, and reflect upon what the results meant. What were our observations? What were the surprises? What was the mood? What was the message?

Post-workshop :: Dinner!

Creativity drains the brain, so thank goodness for an AMAZING taco stand right across the street. I don’t remember the last time I ate so well for under $3.

And that’s a wrap for day 1! I’m totally pleased so far, and am already thinking of so many ways these types of techniques could be implemented into business/technology related conferences and workshops. Sure, this stuff is creative and artistic, but it’s not woo-woo magic. Bringing together both the left & right brain has the potential to bring out some incredible insights that wouldn’t come so easily when only focusing on the logical, practical side of things. After having experienced the limitations firsthand of a non-holistic approach, I’m excited to see what this process will reveal, and how it can be duplicated in other settings.

Stay tuned for updates all week!