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Meet Gail McMeekin of Creative Success in West Roxbury

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gail McMeekin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Early in my twenties after college, I got an MSW in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and began part of the next decade doing child and family psychotherapy with children and families in schools, community mental health centers, and rose to Director positions quickly. I then became interested in why all these parents hated their jobs so I got certified in Human Resources Management to help college kids and adults find careers that they loved. I started my own private practice as a licensed psychotherapist, career coach, and management consultant. After a bout with CFS, I had a personal creative Renaissance as part of my healing process, and started writing and painting, and trained with George Prince, the founder of Synectics in Cambridge, in Mind-Free Creativity which opened many exciting doors for me. I became passionate about why so many adults, especially women, did not honor their creative gifts. So I began writing a series of books for Conari Press. My first book “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor” became a best-seller and sold out its first printing in 8 weeks. My next book “The Power of Positive Choices” teaches my unique theory of resolving stress in our lives, not just meditating. I then wrote two more books in one year: “The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women” and “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Woman Journal” and was featured all over the media from Boston Magazine to the Sunday New York Times to Redbook five times. My husband, Russ Street, is a professional photographer and we collaborated a few years ago on a deck of “Creativity Courage Cards” which were featured in Artist Magazine plus we did an app together for the GPS for the Soul for the Huffington Post. I now have amazing clients all over the world who work with me to vision and achieve their personal, professional, and creative goals. I love my work and helping people create fulfilling lives. In addition to my Manifest your GEM of an Idea online group programs, I do workshops and retreats with beloved colleagues like Deb Knox and Marilyn Taylor. Deb and I created The Soul Path week and Marilyn and I created “Bloom into your Rich Life” and “Harvest.” I am musing on some new book ideas and recently got certified in SoulCollage(R), an art therapy technique that is fun and profoundly illuminating for transitions and life’s challenges. I am also doing my beloved watercolors and my husband and I have lots of creative ideas for our future.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many challenges along the way. In today’s marketplace you have to be continually re-inventing yourself! It takes courage to “follow your bliss” as Joseph Campbell would say. Technology, while a time saver in many ways, keeps altering our lives and our work style. There have been some family health issues and other life demands too that stole time away from projects and goals. But I was also glad to have the freedom to make those choices and honor my priorities. As a woman and a creative soul who is very right-brained, it took me a while to master the financial and metrics parts of running a business. I have had a series of assistants over the years and have had to balance how much do I blindly delegate tasks that I do not want to deal with versus learning them myself or well enough to manage them being done by someone else. I have a great Quickbooks company now as well as a crackerjack web/PR gal working for me and feel very lucky. While I am driven first and foremost by coaching people using all my education and creative problem-solving gifts, you have to make money to stay in business. So I have learned to understand money from both psychological and business perspectives and share what I have learned happily with my clients!

Please tell us about Creative Success.
I am known nationally as the Passionate Mentor and Coach to Creative Professional Women, and Men. Everyone is creative, not just artists and writers, but so many of us “forget” how to use our creative software and/or got put down or talked out of using our natural and unique gifts. I help people to finally write that book and get it published or start that dream business or bring their  creative talents to their current jobs or make their creative work a top priority in their retirement, for example. I am very proud of the books, e-books, Cards, and creative workshops and retreats that I continue to develop and lead. I am honored that I have had so much media exposure so that I can encourage people to honor and follow their creative fascinations and be successful with them. I named my business Creative Success as that is my Life Purpose to help people achieve the life that they want. My clients always tell me that I am very unique as my background is so varied plus I am warm and empathic, but also very goal oriented and a strategic thinker.  I always give my clients lots of custom homework each week and send them on experiential field trips. We are collaborative partners and many of my clients work with me for years as their executive advisor.

What were you like growing up? Personality wise, interest wise, etc.
I always had this longing in school and this lingering question, “Where are all the creative women in the workplace and why aren’t we learning about them?” I was an avid reader as a child and lived in the library so always wanted to be a writer. I also relished being outdoors in the woods or at the pollywog pond, and grew up in Hingham in an old-fashioned neighborhood where we were free to roam and all the Moms cared about us. I was very active in the historic Old Ship Church and once gave a sermon about communication issues between parents and kids and played the famous song ”The Sounds of Silence” on the loudspeakers. My first real job was at Talbot’s where I worked right down the hall from Rudy and Nancy Talbots, the founders. I was a cheerleader in high school but really should have been working on the literary magazine instead. In college I majored in English but my husband-to-be got me interested in psychology, so my intention became both practicing psychotherapy/coaching and writing about people and their well-being and ultimately their creativity.

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