Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


The magic of Mile Markers

This drive never fails to thrill. #avl #ilovemountains


Imagine, for a moment, that the path in your business – your to-dos and goals and plans – are a roadtrip. If I wanna drive from here to LA, I have choices. I could drive up to Minnesota (hi, Vanessa!) or down through Alabama (hi, Mercedes!), or I could just drive due West. If I fly, I'm going to end up going East first, through Charlotte.

What matters, as much as where I end up, is what I go through. That is going to determine how long it takes me, the experiences I have, and how satisfied I am overall with the trip.

Sure, I don't know all the tiny towns I'm going to drive through. I don't know all the sites I'm going to see. I don't even know if I'll change destinations halfway through. But picking the right Mile Markers (some of the in-between stops) will determine all that.


In Map Making, one of the first things we do is to make a list of Mile Markers. These are the things in between Where You Are and Where You Want to Go. These are the road signs you are going to pass on your way. To many map-makers, they seem like something extra. Not all that important.  But, after 2 years of watching map-makers reach (or not reach) their destinations (and learn lessons either way), I've come to learn that the Mile Markers are the map.
Mile Markers set your course, they pave the path between Here and There.

They help you:

  • Determine the direction you're going to go (through Alabama or Alaska?)
  • Focus in on what matters – and ignore all the distractions
  • Build confidence – each Mile Marker is a point of celebration!
  • Keep momentum – you only have to focus on the little bit of road between you and the next Mile Marker.


A lot of us get tangled up in is tasks that are unrelated to the destination.
We make To Do lists that are full of “extras”. (ex, I want to get press coverage…so I'll post on Facebook. I want to sell more blankets, so I'll post a tutorial.) Mile Markers can help you narrow down your to dos into the tasks that will move you in the right direction.

Setting appropriate, helpful Mile Markers is a process that takes time, trial + error, and lots of paying attention to what has worked (and what hasn't). But you learn all of this by doing it, again and again (and reviewing!)


What's your next mile marker?

Why it’s called the Starship

More than any other question I get, people are always asking: why do you call it the Starship?
If you met me in real life, you wouldn't guess that my business cards call me a Starship Captain. I don't speak Klingon. I've never been to a Star Trek (or Star Wars) convention. I might geek out over seeing the actual chair, but it was a low-level squee. The non-geek friend with me didn't even notice.

But I captain a Starship because I am an explorer. And so are you.

When I was creating the Starship, I kept asking the first members: What is this space? What's it like for us to all be together in the same place, but each going on our own adventures?
I thought of The Kitchen. The Craft Room. The Bounce House. And all of those are fun, but they don't really express that we are on a mission. They sound more like places where you hang out and chat and bake bread.
But we are on a mission  to seek out new answers, to try new things, to experiment. We are, every last one of us, in the process of crafting a life, and a business that fits into that life.
And even though you might do it at home on your couch in your pjs. It's not a sleepy, cozy, solitary endevour.
It can be safe. And it can be wild. It can be ease-filled and it can be exciting.
But if you are truly pursuing the unknown, creating something that didn't exist yesterday, blazing your own trail towards self-expression and sustainability…it ain't easy.
It's an adventure.
For me, and for lots of the Starship-ers, this is the best adventure of our lives (so far). It's a daily challenge and it's also a daily reward. It's frustrating and it's liberating.
Sometimes it's downright boring, but then we catch a new wave of inspiration and everything is changing and it's all exciting and overwhelming and totally unknown again.
So that's why it's called the Starship.

Because we are adventurers.*

We're exploring the unknown and recording what you find (and turning it into our business).
We're in a space full of support and camaraderie and everything we need for our adventure. A Starship.
*It's more fun if you sing We are adventurers.

If you're an adventurer (or you'd like to feel a little more supported in your business), check out the Starship. It only opens once a quarter!