web analytics

Workshops for Creative People – Now Booking for July

Time Management for Creative People

Following the success of my Creative Momentum workshops last summer, I’m pleased to announce two more public workshops in central London this July:

Time Management for Creative People — 7 July

Manage the mundane – create the extraordinary. Essential skills to maximise your creativity and minimise your stress levels at work!

From people who attended last year:

“Clear, intelligent and genuinely useful material.”

Thomas Heath, thomasheath.tv

“I liked the way the ideas for managing time were uncomplicated and realistic enough to start fitting them into your everyday life.”
Candida Bradley, candipops.com

“The content was clear and can be easily applied.”
Jacob Sam-La Rose, jacobsamlarose.com

Full details + booking here: Time Management Training

How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself) — 14 July

Motivate yourself to overcome obstacles and create amazing work – and a sustainable career.

From people who came last year:

“This was nothing like I expected and much better than I expected. Made me look at how I work and why I work, in a completely different way. Mark has a very laid back style which is great.”
Sarah Turner, turnerink.co.uk

“The group size was just right. The distinctions worked well, and gave me a different way of thinking about motivation. The material is interesting and well presented. An enjoyable and worth-while workshop!”
David Stevens, musicforspecialneeds.com

“I really liked the way you related the issues of the talk with stories which you almost acted out! It was interesting relating problems which you experience yourself to other people who have succeeded – it made it seem more achievable! I really enjoyed it, a really comfortable atmosphere was created and the group seemed to get on well. Thank you!”
Candida Bradley, candipops.com

“I liked your presentation style. I think it was the first time in a long while when I actually was captured by a presentation and the content and listened to what you had to say.”
Kim Robertson

Details and booking here: Motivation Training

The workshops are designed for creative people of all descriptions — artists, creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who takes their creativity seriously.

As before, I’ll be tailoring the workshops to the specific needs of each group – when you book your place, I’ll send you some questions about what you want to get out of it, which will help me target the issues that are most important to you.

The workshops are designed to work equally well as standalone sessions, or to complement each other if you take both. There’s also a special offer if you book both workshops together.

Places will be strictly limited to 25 per workshop and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Last year they sold out well in advance, so early booking is a good idea if you want to be sure of your place.

Here’s the booking page (with secure payment via credit card or Paypal):

We had a lot of fun last year and I’m looking forward to more of the same this time round. I hope you can join us!

PS — I may be running some more workshops later in the summer — you can join my mailing list if you want to be first to know when they are announced.

The Lateral Action Creative Entrepreneur Course Is Now Live

Cartoon: I'm not delusional! I'm an entrepreneur!

Image by Hugh MacLeod

UPDATE: We’ve now sold out. Thank you and welcome to all our charter members!

If you’d like to be first to hear when we open up again, you can sign up on this page to join the e-mail notification list.

We’ve now started taking enrolments for the Lateral Action Creative Entrepreneur Course.

The course is designed for:

  • Artists and creative freelancers
  • People looking to set up a home-based business
  • Bloggers looking to build a business around their blog

(If that doesn’t include you, you may want to skip this post — there are plenty more articles about creativity and related topics coming up on Wishful Thinking, plus the free e-book I’m working on …)

If you’d like to be one of our charter members, with lifetime access to the course (including all future updates) at a 50% discount, you can head over to Lateral Action and sign up.

The course gives you a detailed roadmap for succeeding as a creative entrepreneur — a small, creative business consisting of one person or a very small team. It will show you how to research and develop products that people actually want to buy, market yourself on the internet, and build a business without spending a fortune on advertising or employees. [Read more…]

IPA Seminar — How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself)

Sunshine bursting through clouds

Photo by JeffBelmonte

On 24 April I’m running a half day seminar for members of The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, about How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself).

Here are the details:

How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself)

A practical seminar to help you get inside the heads of creative workers and bring out their best work.

Objectives / Benefits

  • Understand how motivation affects performance – especially creativity
  • Use non-monetary motivations to get the best out of people on a limited budget
  • Turn problems into inspiring challenges
  • Get better work out of creative people
  • Avoid (inadvertently) crushing people’s motivation and harming performance
  • Use rewards effectively
  • Understand and influence many different types of people
  • Facilitate better team collaboration
  • Adjust your approach according to how the recession affects your agency


  • What makes creative people tick
  • Why motivation is crucial to performance
  • Why offering rewards can sometimes harm performance
  • The 4 most powerful types of motivation
  • Practical ways to use each type of motivation
  • Which motivations to use in the best/worst case recession scenarios
  • What Iggy Pop can teach you about management
  • How to write 47 novels before breakfast
  • Why some people seem so weird – and how to deal with them
  • The positive side of peer pressure

Who should attend

Managers, creative directors, account managers – and anyone else charged with facilitating outstanding performance.

What People Say About the E-book – How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself)

“If you’re a creative director like me, it’s a must-read.”
Tim Siedell, Fusebox

“The kind of reading that should be required for new supervisors as well as those in the creative professions.”
Steve Roesler, Roesler Consulting Group

Mark McGuinness is a coach and trainer specialising in work with creative professionals and creative industries companies. He writes two popular blogs about creative business: www.wishfulthinking.co.uk and www.lateralaction.com.

Please note — the seminar is open to IPA members only.

To book your place(s): Login to the IPA CPD Zone. Once logged in, click on ‘Training Courses’, then ‘Friday Morning Energisers’ – my session is on 24 April.

Non-IPA members — if you are interested in booking a seminar on this topic for your organisation, please e-mail me or call me on 01707 644 665 for a confidential discussion about your needs.

The Age of Conversation 2 Is Published Today

Today sees the publication of The Age of Conversation 2, a book written by 237 authors from 15 countries, in aid of the children’s charity Variety.

The brainchild of Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton, AOC2 is a virtual collaboration resulting in a real book that will have an impact on the real life problems faced by thousands of children worldwide. Looking at the author list, it also promises to be a great read.

The central question of the book is ‘Why don’t they get it?’ — as one of the authors I’ve chosen to answer this under the heading ‘The New Breed of Creative’. My 400 word chapter is called ‘Peripheral Creative Vision’, and looks at the skills you need to succeed as a creative professional, over and above artistic/creative talent. What are these skills and why they important? Well, you’ll just have to buy the book to find out — remember, all the money from sales goes towards Variety’s work to improve children’s lives.

Age of Conversation 2 is a massive collaborative effort — here’s what you can do to help:

[Read more…]

The Return of Wishful Thinking

Return key on keyboard

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may been wondering why it’s been so quiet since the spring. And if you’ve joined us more recently, you may be wondering whether it ever gets much noisier than this. Sorry about that. It wasn’t my intention. As well as running my business, I’ve been preparing for the launch of Lateral Action, which I’m pleased to say is now well under way. But that wasn’t the main reason for the slowdown at Wishful Thinking…

Basically, I injured my hands and haven’t been able to type for the last six months. Which has obviously restricted my ability to write blog posts. And use the computer generally – even keeping up with reading other people’s posts has been a real challenge. Rather embarrassingly for someone who has written an e-book about time management — including whole sections about e-mail — I fell way behind on my e-mail. So for a writer, especially one whose blog is a major source of new business, to say it’s been a frustrating summer would be an understatement. [Read more…]

Social Media and Community Sport – Channel 4 Thursday 1st May

Celtic football club

Photo by LittleMissSilly

I’m on a panel next Thursday 1st May, at All Together Now – Social Media and the Future of Community Sport, a joint Sport England and Channel 4 event at the Channel 4 building.

This is what it’s about:

Over the course of the past three years the emergence of blogging, social networking services and platforms which showcase and share user generated content have transformed the possibilities of how we connect, converse and collaborate with one another.

’In the 20th Century, we were defined by what we owned, in the 21st Century we will be defined by what share and give away’ Charles Leadbeater, author of We Think

The potential for organisations and brands to harness these technologies and tools to engage with users, customers and their communities in radically new ways is becoming clear.

How can all those organisations working to promote active participation in sports and the brands that wish to sponsor their activates and campaigns work together to make the most of the unrivalled viral power and network effects of the web in the run up to 2012?

Other speakers will include Thomas Godfrey, Commercial Director of Sport England, Jon Gisby, Director of Technology and New Media at Channel 4, Rebecca Caroe, Gi Fernando of Technlightenment, Antony Mayfield and Ed Mitchell.

I’ll be there as an ambassador for social media, to share my experience of blogging, social networking, Twitter, etc. and give the representatives of sports organisations some idea of the possibilities and pitfalls of engaging with people via the web.

After receiving the invitation I was struck by two thoughts: 1. How much time I spend on football messageboards when I should probably be doing something else, and following on from that, 2. that sport may be the ultimate social object [WARNING: cartoon with rude word] i.e. conversation starter and social catalyst. If I meet a stranger and they let slip they’re interested in football, I know we’ll have plenty to talk about and there will be no awkward silences (well not unless they turn out to be a Rangers fan).

So it looks to me as though sports organisations have an open goal in front of them – they have something that most people love to talk about and nearly anyone has an opinion on. But will they slot the ball calmly home or sky it over the bar? Or will they be fatally distracted by the animated advertising board behind the goal?

There are still a few free tickets left, so if you’re interested in any combination of social media, sport and marketing, then register for the event, ask me some easy questions during the debate, and come and say hello afterwards.

If you can’t make it on the day but you’ve got any thoughts on how sports or other organisations should engage with people via social marketing, please leave a comment below. I don’t think I’ll be able to link to you from the stage but I’ll certainly Twitter my thanks if I use any ideas from the comments.

Thanks to Steve Moore of Policy Unplugged for inviting me to join the panel and giving me an excuse to post a photo of Celtic.

EDIT: I’ve posted my presentation slides to Slideshare. You can probably tell I was trying to keep things as simple as possible.

Help Children’s Charity Variety – Buy The Age of Conversation TODAY!

Join the Age of Conversation Bum Rush on March 29th

Today’s the day to get your copy of The Age of Conversation.


The Age of Conversation is a book co-authored by over 100 of the world’s leading marketers, writers, thinkers and creative innovators. Each of them wrote 400 words on the theme of ‘conversation’. If the names David Armano, Roger von Oech, Tony D. Clark and Mark Earls ring any bells, you’ll have an idea of the standard of writing you can expect.


Not only is the book a cracking read, but all the profits go to help children’s charity Variety achieve its mission of improving the lives of children around the world.

Why today?

Because Today (Sat 29th March) is the day that Drew McLellan and Chris Wilson are orchestrating a campaign to drive sales and push The Age of Conversation up the Amazon bestseller charts. They’re doing this via blogs and social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg and Stumbleupon.

What else can I do to help?

Very nice of you to ask. After you buy your copy of the book, go to Chris Wilson’s post and Digg it. Then have a read through his list of easy ways to help and do whichever ones you can.

What’s a bum rush?

I’ve no idea, but it’s for charity so let’s do it!

Meshminds Launch Party – 25 January, London

Meshminds logo

Kay Vasey of Meshminds has asked me to pass on an invitation to the Mesh Release Party at the Adam Street club in London on 25 January. The event is free, with an option to buy a £5 ticket for a draw to win a trip to Paris for you and your friends. Sign up here if you’d like to come.

Meshminds is a new creative network for London – I recently joined the Meshminds site and haven’t had much chance to explore it yet but it looks very nice. A kind of Facebook with better graphic design, for creative types. I’ve also been very impressed by the enthusiasm and imagination shown by Kay Vasey and Jonny Emmanuel in setting it up.

Here’s the basic idea, from the Meshminds site:

Mesh seeks to promote collaborative creativity by providing a unique forum where business and creative professionals can share ideas with like-minded people, invest in the arts, and showcase emerging talent.

Hope to see you at the party – let me know if you’re going and want to meet up.

Creative Networking in London

Martin MALii-Karlsson has put together a great list of creative networking events in London. I met Martin at the CIDA Creative Business Club (link in his post) a few months ago and we’ve kept in touch. He’s a charming guy with a really interesting take on creative business and he’s really getting into his stride with his blog – you should have a look at it.

And check out his events list – ‘networking’ is an awful word, conjuring up images of people in shiny suits pushing business cards at you – but having been to several of the events on his list, I can assure you they are usually a lot of fun and you can make some good contacts. The fact I know Martin is proof that they work!

Magma Poetry 39 Launch Reading Tonight

Tonight is the launch reading for Magma Poetry issue 39, at The Troubadour near Earls Court.

If you love poetry, you’ll love it – and if you’ve never been to a contemporary poetry reading, it’s a great place to start. We have excellent headline poets in George Szirtes and Anna Woodford, and the reading will feature lots of other poets from the magazine – so with a wide range of readers there should be something to appeal to you. And The Troubadour is a great venue, invariably packed for Magma readings.

Magma 39

Magma is one of the best poetry magazines in the UK, always featuring major contemporary poets alongside new and up-and-coming writers. We take it in turns to edit the magazine (I edited Magma 34) – David Morphet has done a terrific job with this issue, which you can sample on the Magma website for free.

Let me know if you’re coming tonight, I’ll wear a red carnation or something so we can say hello.