6 February 2018
In this interview, we talk with Mikaela Danvers, the She Leads Workshop facilitator for Setting and Meeting Goals, to learn the importance of having workshops for women, and to discover some key details of planning, vision boards, and the Reticular Activating System.
Mikaela Danvers is an accomplished and leading graphic designer, the founder of The Makers Co, the owner of Danvers Creative, and a design studio manager and lecturer at the University of Canberra. To read her extended bio and uncover the story behind why she creates, see her story.
You are the Founder of The Makers Co and the owner of Danvers Creative. How would you describe these operations, and what drove you to create them?
Danvers Creative is my freelance graphic design business where I specialise in brand identity solutions for small businesses, bloggers and creative entrepreneurs. I’ve been a designer since I graduated Graphic Design at UC in 2006, and love working with other creatives to bring their brand to life.
The Makers Collective is a community to encourage and empower women to pursue their creative business ideas. I created The Makers Co out of a necessity to hang out with other creatives, and found a massive gap in the market for clear, actionable information geared towards makers trying to start a business.
You have attended previous She Leads Workshops yourself. In what ways do you see these workshops contributing to women’s leadership pathways?
As mentioned above, not only is there a gap for makers but also a huge gap in the market for women-led education for women striving towards leadership. The She Leads workshops are fantastic because they are run in a supportive, non-intimidating environment where questions and open dialogue are welcomed and encouraged.
Your workshop will feature vision boards. Why do you think these are necessary to the process?
Vision boards have been known time and time again to ‘work’, and the reason for this is that they allow us to focus on what matters most to us, in moving towards our goals. I’m not interested in any vague theories about putting messages out into the Universe to make things happen – vision boards are much more practical than that. They allow us to remind ourselves regularly (in this crazy chaotic world in which we are being hammered with information every second of the day) what we’re working towards, in a simple, visual form.
You’ve mentioned the Reticular Activating System before; can you explain what this is and how it applies to the everyday person?
In very basic terms, the RAS is a bundle of nerves that regulate our alertness and filters out unnecessary information so we can focus on the important stuff. By using a vision board, and seeing the information on it each day, our RAS kicks in and recognises that any information related to this ‘important stuff’ is filtered into our consciousness. This is the same reason that you start noticing hundreds of pregnant women when you are trying for a baby.
This is a good article explaining how it works.
What are your top tips for successful planning?
Honestly? Just do it. Set time aside to set the goal and make the plan, and then stick to the plan as best you can! I think the hardest thing for people is trying to get somewhere without actually knowing where they are wanting to end up, so if you take the time to gain more clarity around where you want to be and what it will take to get there, it will be a much easier journey and a more rewarding path to be on.