Welcome to the Thunderdome.

If “Thunderdome” was short for “ambitious-creator-support-network”. Which it is, maybe? There was certainly nothing mediocre about Tina Turner in chain mail.


So let’s talk about you.

What are you working on?

Maybe a new product for industrial engineers? A YouTube video where you interrogate your teddy-bear? A patchwork quilt? Ooh, or a LARP scenario with black-bag ops in the Kingdom of Eternia. A non-profit that provides postal addresses for homeless people? An installation artwork involving a vending machine? The ultimate gluten-free cheese-bread recipe? A Mr Rogers approach to personal training? A garden?

There’s no way I can possibly encompass all the amazingness that you and everyone else reading are working on. I’m just gonna call it your Pursuit, for convenience.

But whatever your Pursuit is, these things hold true:

  1. You have a vision of what you want to create.
  2. There is at least one thing unusual about it.
  3. You’re feeling the pressure to tone down, dilute, remove or remodel the unusual features.
  4. You desperately, vigorously, tenaciously don’t want to surrender to those forces. You believe in your vision and its need to exist.

HELL TO THE YES, darlingheart. All of the high fives to you.

So what do you need?

More than anything, I think you need this:

You need to resolve, remove, workaround or learn to deal with all the constraints of your Pursuit.

Constraints are necessary limitations on the work. You know, things like your budget, your skills, your deadlines… your resources and legal requirements. Your aesthetic standards, your audience needs, available suppliers, technology. (Plus more, minus some. Depends on what you’re creating.)

At the same time, you need to negotiate with, ignore or extinguish all the unnecessary limitations. Instead of constraints, these are restraints, all those internal and external forces that want you to SHUT UP NOW, PLEASE.

That’s a subtle and difficult balancing act. On one hand you’re compromising, adapting, iterating to manage all those constraints. On the other you’re barring the door and screaming “Never, never, nevernevernever,” to the restraints. Flexible and stubborn, at the same time.

And that’s where I think I can help.

So who the hell are you, lady?

Oh! Right. Hi.

My name’s Catherine Caine, and I run a website called Cash And Joy, where I help small business owners build their own magnificent businesses.

But more and more I wanted to talk about this drive to create great things that aren’t necessarily business-related, although they may have money involved somewhere. I also wanted to help artists, and non-profits, and inventors, and crafters, and vloggers, and hobbyists… in short, anyone who is committed to building something weird and wonderful.

Because I know the world is better for every single magnificent thing in it, and better for every single person who is following a vision even when – maybe especially when – the majority don’t Get It.

So there are a metric fuckton of free resources I’m making for you.

The blog is for inspiration and education. Check out other magnificent Pursuits and remind yourself that you can do eeet, too. Rock out to a song that kicks your ass and then get off that ass and go MAKE SOMETHING, BAYBEE. (Then tell us your tale. We’d love to hear all about it!)

The Spectacular newsletter – that’s its name, but also a goal, gods help me – does two things. Firstly, it emails you all the articles from the website once a week so you can keep force-feeding determination into your brain.

Secondly, every week or two there will be an update from me, where I will share all of the unvarnished truth of my own striving for awesomeness. No “Wow, everything is so amazing all the time” airbrushed bullshit. Nope, all the good and bad and exasperating and giggletastic reality of one woman’s wrassle with constraints and restraints. ’Cos you are never, ever the only one who feels the way you do, I swear.

There’s a free 30-minute session, too, to start figuring out some of the Unbreakable rules that will keep your restraints in check. (And MATE.)

(It was a chess joke, see?)

I’ve also brought along, and adapted as necessary, some of the paid work I do with small businesses.

Things like the Kickass Naming Service – ’cos names are often the hardest part – and an ongoing sidekick service to help you continually rock out that subtle constraint/restraint management process.

See the menu of products and service here, if you want some hardcore tag team assistance.

(You don’t have to buy anything from me, ever. I’m here to help, whatever way works for you.)

I’m doing this Pursuit because I believe in it.

I believe in you. Even when you don’t.

Down with mediocrity!

Love and gluesticks,

P.S. Didja sign up for that Spectacular newsletter already? I promise it will be pretty good.