Like so many great adventures, I had no idea what Map Your Progress would become when I launched it in June of 2015.
I thought I was just going to try and sell some of my artwork in the form of Progress Maps—these visual representations of goals and the action steps needed to achieve them.
It's fair to say that I was learning as I went, in terms of building an ecommerce site, learning how to run my own business, and teaching people how to use progress mapping to change their lives for the better.
And Map Your Progress has evolved from being about creative ways of making progress and reaching goals to something deeper.
Between you and me, my Dear—I've become fairly obsessed not only with how we humans make progress, but also how we feel successful and fulfilled.
I genuinely care what happens after you purchase. I care what happens when you receive it. I care how you feel, what steps you take and how easy/hard all that is for you. I care about you creating momentum and being able to sustain it. I care about you feeling victorious as you make your way toward what you most want.
And I damn sure care that when you reach your goal and have a full-color map, you feel what you'd hoped you feel.
It doesn't matter whether you're wanting to pay off credit card debt or lose weight or create a new fitness habit.
All that matters is that you're a human person who wants to feel better.
In some ways, the reasons we want to make progress are simple and the ways in which we resist doing what it takes are fairly complex.
Yet there are absolutely patterns of behavior we share—no matter what you're feeling about your goals and what it will take to reach them—I can assure you that you are not alone.
Having worked with about 1,000 Mappers from all over the world, it's clear to me that we are more alike than different.
And so often we have ideas of what we think will make us happy and feel fulfilled. Understandably, those are the goals we pursue. Why wouldn't we?
Not everyone feels success in the same way.
On the contrary, as human persons, we feel fulfilled and alive in many different ways.
That's what led me to create the nine different Human Light Types. I wanted to give us all a tool to help us each get clear on what's matters most. For some, it's changing the world in a big way. For others, it's loving and supporting their family to the best of their ability. Or taking adventures into the unknown. Or just enjoying life to its fullest, celebrating day-to-day life. For humans like me, my life has meaning when I use my experience and pain in service of others who struggle as I have.
There are many ways to have a sense of meaning and purpose—that's why I'm devoted to this idea I call making progress on purpose.
That’s what I’m at with this adventure I started called Map Your Progress. No doubt it will continue to grow and unfold as I do and more humans becomes part of this worldwide tribe.
Here’s what’s gone down so far:
I drew a large doodle-ly piece of artwork to represent my credit card debt—over $26,000 USD. I intended to track my credit cards payments in increments of $100 = one swirl in the artwork. Had no idea if it would work, but I needed to do something differently.
I posted a photo on Facebook, if anything to out myself and make it more public, thus harder to ignore or back out of completing. Little did I know at the time, it would be the beginning of my life changing.
Friends encouraged me to create similar artwork for others and turn it into a business. I was flattered. But I wasn’t interested. I had other plans—like building out my online sanctuary, SanctuWhereWe.
It was as if the Universe said to me, “Oh, you think you have plans? Hahahahaha. How about THIS?!?!” I use the expression, “it shook my snow globe.” My life took a few lefts and many hard rights.
Thought, “What the hell. Let’s give this map shit a proper go.” Creative Progress Maps was the name I came up with this goal-tracking art. Since fewer words can be better, I now call them “Progress Maps” or “Maps” if we know each other.
For the first time in my life, I started my own business, based on my own creations and hoped like hell that people would want to buy them. I was as excited as I was terrified.
Launched mapyourprogress.com to sell my Creative Progress Maps aka Progress Maps aka Maps. I’d come up with a way of drawing each design by hand, digitizing it, and finding a partner to print the Maps on real fancy paper or canvas.
Mid-June, I posted a blog about how I’d paid off my $26,000 USD in debt by coloring my original artwork in. That post is here and has a bunch more details about what happened. It went a little bit viral. Especially in Australia. [insert surprised face emoji here]
Had 196 orders in two weeks. It felt like a huge cookie from the Universe, saying, “Good job, Sweetheart! You’re on the right track!” The first 30 days felt like a real hell yes.
The next six months were about trying to get back to anywhere near the traffic of June. That period felt like the Universe was saying, “You’re on the right track, but winning’s going to be ugly. There’s more to the story. Keep going.”
My money guy said, “You should be a coach and create programs.” I was flattered. But I wasn’t interested. I was going to just sell a whole bunch of Maps.
My coach/mentor said, “You should be a coach and create some programs.” I was flattered. And daunted. And within a few months convinced they were both right.
Which looking back is kind of hilarious. Y'all: I’ve been a coach without knowing it for years. I was just too scared to own it. Because it was truly my favorite thing to do, I just didn’t know how to make a living doing it.
I launched Progress for Life, a 12-week coaching adventure (because the word adventure feels ways more accurate than program to me) where I could teach Mappers how to use Maps as a catalyst for transforming the way they made progress in any area of their life and how they treated themselves.
That went real well. When I coached, I felt alive. On-purpose. Like I was in my zone of genius. My clients loved working with me, as I loved working with them.
By March, I realized there was a distinction between teaching (let me show you how to do what I do best) and coaching (let me help you do what you do best). I wanted to coach. That’s where the magic happens.
My next right step was to get clear on who I am here to coach—who I could best serve and who would also want it the most.
While I was sorting out my next level of coaching, a friend posted something about a daily challenge she had created for herself and encouraged others to do a 100-day challenge. I immediately took that on, not really knowing how or what or why. And yet. Within 15 minutes, I posted a declaration (again to out myself and make it public) that I was going to launch a 100-day course and call it the Self-Care Love Affair. Just because. It was terrifying and I didn’t know how I was going to do it.
Yet, it made sense, because in the months that I’d started teaching and coaching, it was clear to me that what makes Map Your Progress unique is that it’s founded on the idea that progress is made and sustained through love of one’s self. So I created this 100-day self-paced course to teach Mappers how to love themselves more.
Despite starting before I was ready and winning ugly with it, it’s proven effective and transformative for the Mappers who’ve taken it.
I announced my “answer” to the question, “Who do you coach?” Turns out:
And I specialize in coaching Lighthouses, because I am one.
As I have a penchant for making up words, phrases, and creative concepts, here’s what I mean:
Human Lights are people who know they are here on this planet to bring light in service of others and need to pursue their purpose to feel happy about being alive.
I see nine different types of human lights, who bring light into the world in different, yet equally important ways. I created these light types to help Human Lights self-identify what kind of light they’re here to bring so they can fulfill both themselves and those they serve. Human Lights can be: Lighthouses, Floodlights, Campfires, Torches, Lamps, Flashlights, Candles, Stringlights, and Spotlights.
So my job as a coach is to help people identify their light and how they shine bright.
This is what I’m here on this planet to do. And I’ve come alive in the pursuit of it.
We’re just getting started y’all.