The Art and Beauty of Simplicity

What’s in your binder? You know, the one you carry around that has your business plan, financial projections, competitive analysis, etc… you can expertly walk someone through every page of it in just two hours. But let’s be real, it’s all good but it’s too much.

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs

This is our challenge as entrepreneurs, to take our complex ideas and make them simple.  When your ideas are simple, the world becomes interested and passionate about what you’re doing, and your business moves to the next level and you achieve what you’ve always wanted as an entrepreneur.  So, how do you get your idea out of the binder and into the world?

At a Tiger Trap workshop we will take you through a process to help you distill your existing business plan into a simple one-page plan.  To begin, we break some eggs; we make a mess. You work with your team to liberate your ideas and literally “put it on the wall”.  This creative and energetic process gets the ideas out of your head, out of your binder, and it becomes visible to you and your collaborators. 


The second step is to collaborate with others to reduce, to discover the true essence of what you’re trying to do.  From this process you will find your simple, yet powerful, mission and vision.  Goosebumps will kick in for you, and then for the world around you as people learn: Why you do what you do, and Where you are going. 

Click here to sign up for the January, 2018 Mastery Class today!

Find the Bigger Picture Through the Vanishing Point

Creating an effective entrepreneurial strategic plan requires a herculean effort to distill, focus and refine your goals & intentions; it also requires some art to inspire you to set the course and manage the flow.  That’s why many successful entrepreneurs also tend to be artists, and even if you’re not an artist, there’s strength in utilizing art metaphors and borrowing from artistic techniques.  

When we work with participants at a Tiger Trap workshop, we collaborate and iterate with each participant so they can fine-tune their mission & vision, and then we prototype toward a set of objectives enabling traction to achieve success.  Sounds easy, right?  Nope, it’s really hard.  As entrepreneurs, we’re really good at coming up with new ideas for companies, products and services; however, to bring our ideas to fruition into sustainable companies that bring us the outcomes we desire, we have to develop skills to better think with elasticity and make plans that work over time.  

This is where borrowing from the artistic process can help us break through the status quo of our thinking, enabling us to be better entrepreneurs and develop plans for the long haul.   

The vanishing point is a painting technique developed in the late 1400’s during the Renaissance.  It creates the visual effect of depth and is an abstract point on the image plane where 2D projections (or drawings) of a set of parallel lines in 3D space appear to converge.

The Vanishing Point - Example

The Vanishing Point - Example

This technique was essential during the Renaissance to make paintings and illustrations communicate depth and feel more epic.  

As an entrepreneur a critical skill for you and your team to develop are techniques to visualize the future, or more specifically, visualize a destination of where you are headed as an organization.  When you have a clear vision defined of where you are headed, making decisions for your immediate plan becomes much easier, your team and employees are inspired, and your customers understand what makes you unique and they remain committed to you for many years. 

Bringing that vision to life in your strategic plan is a big part of what we do at Tiger Trap workshops.  We help participants take what they are already doing well in 2D, and teach them skills to construct a vanishing point (or vision) in their strategic plans so they can see their plans come to life in 3D.  

Register Today for our January Workshop!


Is it Rare to Believe in the Impossible?

Is it Rare to Believe in the Impossible?

As creatives and entrepreneurs, we all start out with the thrill of wanting to make something new.  We love attacking our idea and the challenge of bringing it to life. We believe in our vision and have the tenacity to build it even through the times it seems impossible.

But are we born with this skill or is this something we learn along the way? Can anyone develop these skills?

As it turns out, yes! We can all develop these skills!

We need someone to believe in us. None of us realizes our potential alone and success isn’t something any of us are born with.

It’s called the Pygmalion Effect: when we believe in another person’s potential it brings that potential to life. It’s based on the Rosenthal–Jacobson study, which showed that, if teachers were led to expect enhanced performance from children, then the children's performance was enhanced. This study supported the hypothesis that reality can be positively or negatively influenced by the expectations of others. (Wikipedia)

As entrepreneurs we can take on a lot at one time, but only for so long until we get burned out and it’s very difficult to come up with the plan alone. In strategic planning this is the part where things get ‘physical’. Our vision and idea need to become ‘material’ through a clear course of action in order to become real.

So, how do we use collaboration to focus on what is most important to us and what we are trying to build? How do we work within our limitations as individuals to get what we really want? We need a map and we need each other to create the map. We believe in each other individually and together as group and that’s how we make the impossible possible.

Click here to sign up for the January, 2018 Mastery Class today!

All the best,
Laurel Van Matre



Mastery Class: Creating a Plan That Works!

Dear friends, artists and fellow entrepreneurs,

We are excited to announce a two-day workshop we will be facilitating. This is a Mastery Class for entrepreneurs and creatives who want to take their business and creative ventures to the next level. The workshop will be held at YOGA Garden on January 19th and 20th.  

The workshop is designed to help entrepreneurs unlock persistent challenges: How do you develop a plan (and set of actions) that will lead to sustainable success in your current venture?  What are the changes you can make now to get more value out of your current venture, and enable you to achieve other goals (personal or professional)?  How does your wellbeing fit into the equation and how can you achieve a better work/life balance?  How do you communicate effectively to your co-founders and team about your priorities?  

This is an intimate, action-packed, two-day workshop set in a beautiful studio where entrepreneurs and creatives collaborate together to each create a one-page strategic plan.  The strategic plan will be a map that each participant can use to accelerate their businesses and creative pursuits. This technique has been developed and used by both of us for the last 6 years, and we’ve trained dozens of other creatives and entrepreneurs resulting in breakthrough successes (feel free to ask us about it!). 

We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and helping YOU develop a strategic plan that will accelerate your venture and allow you take it to the next level!

To learn more or to sign up for the Mastery Class, click here.    

All the best,
Laurel Van Matre and Patrick Riley