Five minutes with Mikaela Danvers

20 November 2019

Mikaela Danvers is a design educator, lecturer and researcher with specialist skills in teaching business fundamentals, goal setting, strategic planning, and building a brand. Founder of The Makers Collective, Mikaela brings learned knowledge and experience to the world of makers looking to turn their hobby into a business. The practical skills taught within her online school, The Makers Academy, are designed to be easily understood and implemented by anyone with a little creativity in their bones. A dedicated online hub for creatives, The Makers Collective is both a resource and a community focusing on making it as a maker.

In the lead up to her upcoming She Leads Workshop on Creative Goal Setting, we caught up with Mikaela to talk about empowering women, creative goal setting and the benefits of a five-year plan.

Tell us about The Makers Co!

The Makers’ Co is a community of makers and creatives. People who love making, in any capacity. The ‘creatives’ among us, who are lucky enough to have found something they enjoy doing, creating something where there was nothing before. My mission is to empower these makers and creatives with the skills, confidence and motivation to take the skills they have and pursue their creativity, be it in running their own business, or just in day to day life.

I also have a desperate urge to empower women to hold power in their own lives. To recognise their own strength and talents, to value their independence and intelligence and feel free to do and be whatever the f*** they want in life. I hope my courses, workshops and free resources will go a little way to achieving that.

What inspired you to create The Makers Co?

I’m building this community of makers and creatives so they have an awesome network of like-minded peeps to support and encourage them in their creative adventures.

I’m a bit of a go-getter, and basically just believe anything is possible if you work really effing hard for it.

Having a really strong support network is really, really important. My family believes in me and my husband supports my crazy ideas, so that’s a huge help. My son Rafael is a really cool kid. Just wanted to mention that. We’ve also added Harriet to the mix and she’s turning out to be pretty awesome too.

Having a supportive family is tops, but sometimes you just want to hang with your peeps that get you and your crazy creative ideas.

This is why I’ve created The Makers’ Co.

You have run previous She Leads Workshops yourself. What do you like about facilitating them?

I like supporting YWCA Canberra as an organisation and meeting women I might not normally meet otherwise.

What are the benefits of creating a five-year plan?

It’s extremely difficult to get to where you want to be if A) you don’t know what that is or what it looks like, and B) you don’t have a map to show you how to get there. The 5-year plan is a map to get you where you want to be. It’s about living your life intentionally.

What is a vision board and why do you like implementing them?

A vision board is a visual reminder of where you’re headed. Once you know what the destination looks like, you create a visual reminder and put it somewhere you can see it every day – it helps you to stay on track, to say no to things that don’t align with your vision (where you want to go), and YES to the things that are going to help get you there. They are also helpful in getting your Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your brain to kick into gear, which is basically a filtering system for all the junk your eyes and ears take in every single day. The RAS helps you to focus on things that are relevant and important. And they’re fun and relaxing to make, as well as being therapeutic if you’re in need of that!

Why is it important to make goal-setting creative?

It’s not especially important – but it is FUN, and MAKING LIFE FUN is important. Cathy Hope at the University of Canberra is doing a lot of research around this at the moment, and the importance of PLAY in a person’s life.

What are your three top tips for successful planning?

  1. Set aside a few hours or more to do it – schedule it in and PLAN to PLAN
  2. Do it in the format that suits you best, but don’t be afraid to try a few different methods and techniques
  3. Enjoy the process – nothing is set in stone, anything can change if need be – it’s FLEXIBLE!

Want to learn more? The She Leads Workshop: Smart Goal Setting the Creative Way with Mikaela is happening 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, 26 November 2019. You can secure your place on our event page here.

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