Making Things Happen

gunsinger coaching on pinterest

This week, I was lucky enough to be in the audience while Steve Blank skype-presented to members of Accelerate Okanagan. What a cool experience, to have access to such a prolific thought leader on startups and customer development. After a 45-minute presentation and a round of very engaging Q&A with the audience, I left with extra-spring in my step for a couple of key reasons:

  • Failure = experience. Steve underlined the importance of failure, of designing “experiments” that engage your target audience and by doing that, turning your hypothesis of what your clients need/want into facts and insights. It’s a matter of moving from fiction to fact.
  • Your baby might be ugly, so deal with it. The only way you are going to find out whether your product/service is viable is by asking, testing, and perhaps, pivoting. I love how Steve made this helluva great comparison, because that’s what your work might feel like: your baby.
  • Your customer: a day in the life. You need to know what a day in the life of your customer looks like now. You need to know what it looks like after using your product/service. What a juicy thing to dig your teeth into!
  • Entrepreneurs make things happen. My favourite quote from Steve’s presentation and so true. Entrepreneurs make cool things, move things along, and even move mountains to get to their end goal. Dog. Bone. Right on.

Stay cool, my business-minded friends. And check out The Startup Owner’s Manual: the first manual that I ever wanted to read. 

Coaches Confession + Magical Mornings

I am very excited to be launching into video blogging! Welcome to the very first episode!

In this episode, I mention:

The Pinterest Vision Board Desktop Wallpaper tutorials that are coming up on May 6.

Getting excellent advice from my pal Mica at Crema Communications.

Taking art classes on Mondays at New Moon Gallery.

Aftercare: of Tattoos and Tech

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to talk at this month at Okanagan Developers Group (@okdg) with free reign over presentation content.


What a delight to present to a group of such engaged, fun and just darn smart professionals. I wrote about my experience presenting over on the Digital Okanagan blog, so head over there to get the scoop on what it’s like to be in front of well, probably a group of people a lot like you.

For those who came out: thank you! And for those who didn’t make it but are curious about how the project process for tattoos is the same as technology and get some hints on how to keep your clients from going to the dark side, check out my presi!

Pinterest and Photoshop Tutorial Coming Soon!

I really like to self-learn technology as it comes across my path, like Photoshop when I started to spend more time focusing on photography and WordPress as my blog required it, and even HTML last week (holy crap). One of the things I have been hankering to play with is iMovie and thinking about it as a communication tool gets me all giddy! I have started sending people video messages because they are way more fun than a rotten ol’ email. (That part is  Shiny Nickel Syndrome, and will fade slowly.)

Anyway, long way around, what a better reason to dabble in iMovie than creating a quick tutorial about how to use Pinterest and Photoshop to make inspiration/dreamboard screensavers. Dreamboards + Technology = Bliss.

So, taking a page from the Skillery  (if you haven’t seen them yet, they are making a lot of cool things: literally!), I will deliver an online self-directed tutorial called: Pinning Down Your Vision: Using Pinterest and Photoshop to Create Inspiring Screen Savers beginning on April 6 under the Full Pink Moon (that one is for you Jamie!).

If you want to be reminded about this launch, join our mailing list: we will send an update at launch!

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions or feedback regarding what you would like to see in the tutorial, I want to hear from you!




that sweet dirt smell – what growing on?

the pink cosmos are excited to get growing

Have you caught a whiff of it? That sweet spring dirt smell?

Those bulbs and seeds you planted in the fall, slowly peeking above the surface. Cleaning up stray leaves and snipping back rose bushes to make room for new growth. Reinforcing stone walls that took a tumble with the winter snow.

I love the garden as a metaphor for life.

Are you starting to see tender small seedlings from the things you have planted in your life?

If not, it might be time for a clean up, weeding out things that don’t reflect the life you want. Or you can foster some of your most sacred seeds inside until they are ready to stand on their own in the world.

The spring is just beginning, think of all you could do this season to cultivate the life you want.


you are a unicorn. now get back up and start again.

*the post title will make sense if you watch this pretty funny, pretty honest, and very realistic TED talk.

Stop shifting the happiness bar in accordance with “when I” (get that job, have a successful business, lose weight, buy a house, have that kind of relationship). You have reached some of the past-you’s “when I” benchmarks already: let those carry you forward instead of the next carrot.

Now go on and spread those sparkles, unicorn.

your 3,000 weeks

This past Saturday evening, I had a brainstorming session with my lovely friend Jenn. One thing led to another (as storms of the brain are wont to do) and it led us to calculate how many weeks we have until we turn 90 years old.

90 years old: what does that look like for you? What have you accomplished by then? Who is that person with all of those years under their belt?

Think about it for a second.

Likely you have thought of it before: the 90-year-old version of yourself. Perhaps you have tapped into that wisdom by asking: “What would 90-year-old me say/think/feel/do about this?” It’s a great perspective shifter.

But back to the weeks. I don’t know about you, but I have pissed away days. I have pissed away whole weeks, caught up in one thing or another that did not contribute to the wine drinking, painting, wise + wild, ass pinching, sass-fuelled Cynthia that I want to be at 90.

Like it or not, our time is not infinite. In fact, if you are 30-ish and hope to live ’til 90, you have about 3000 weeks.

To see what you want to see. To do what you want to do. To make the impact you want to make.

Suddenly, this week has a weight to it.

No time for wasting.

Time for being in the moment, enjoying myself, and doing great work, but no time for wasting.

How might this week change knowing next week will be number 2,999?



on ostriching: get your head out of your ass

I was working a heavy ostriches metaphor into this post: how in cartoons they bury their heads in the sand but how in reality they are super fast and lay the largest egg of any living bird. But that really is what wikipedia is for. Read to your heart’s delight about ostriches there.

Hiding behind that metaphor was the real message: that we all bury our heads in the sand at times. Especially change-makers, leaders and creators, who face big choices and scary turns on their un-blazened trails. It’s comforting, muffled and quiet in the sand, so who can blame us?

But here’s the problem: refusing to think about an unpleasant situation, hoping that it will improve so that you will not have to deal with it rarely works in the way you want it to AND it burns as much energy as actually making a decision and taking action.

It leads to burnout all of its own. Anxiety. Guilt. Ultimately: giving into perfectionism, procrastination, and really, fear, does not a trail-blazer make: you know this.

So here’s what I suggest:

  • Identify areas of your life and work where your head is in *ahem* the sand.
  • Pull it out.
  • Brush your little peepers clean, take a few deep breaths.
  • Look around and really see what’s around you.

There might be a whole landscape, big puzzle pieces, or oncoming vehicles coming at you. Look for those things and feel your feet in your shoes and take action. A micromovement. Start a conversation. Write yourself a note. Do Something. Do your thing.

What is the thing that you are burying your head in the sand about right now? Pulling it out just might be the just thing that clears the next few yards of your trail.



and back to the start

Welcome to 2012! With its snowy beginnings here in the Okanagan Valley, there is a bit of extra inclination to hibernate near fluffy blankets and fireplaces and that means more time to consider the year that stretches out in front of us, like a giant white canvas.

Yikes. What is more full of potential, but riles up the gremlins, than a blank canvas or page?

And so I wonder, what will the year hold for you? Will you set an intention or theme to be your North Star through what lies ahead? What are your greatest wishes for yourself this year?

In all of that wondering, I went back to the beginning. To the beginning of where I began to map out last year’s journey: the Creating Spaces Workbook. My pencils and markers are out and I am joyfully playing through that process again, will you join me?

The workbook is available for free download, so why not give it a try? It’s got to be a lot less scary than a bright white canvas.

With marker-smudges on my fingertips,



P.S. Here is a little artful music to keep you company.

Happy Holidays from Gunsinger Coaching!

It has been a heck of a great year at Gunsinger Coaching, complete with big learnings, fun projects and, of course, hella good coaching work being done by all. I just want to take a quick moment on this sunny Sunday December afternoon to say a ginormous thank you to everyone who worked with Gunsinger Coaching this year, every single collaborator and mentor, every cheerleader and teacher.

To celebrate the holidays this year, I am personally choosing to celebrate Grinchmas! (It’s not as cranky as it sounds, at all!) If you would like to follow what’s shaking over the holidays and join in the discussion, come by my personal blog: I would be delighted to hear from you.

One other thing to note is the changes that will be coming up in December and January. Gunsinger Coaching will be expanding to include the work we do to support tech and creative businesses, so look forward to a similar look and feel, but a way bigger platform and impact. (Special thanks to Lucas Media who are supporting us in this build!)

Happy holidays, Merry Grinchmas and thank you so much for your unfailing support.