Coloring Outside the Lines

Coloring Outside the Lines

May 10, 2023


Do you remember when you first learned to color? You picked up a crayon and put green or blue or yellow anywhere you wanted on the page. It was beautiful.

Then one day, perhaps in pre-school or kindergarten, somebody handed you a sheet of paper with a picture already drawn and asked you to color it. First, you still put the color anywhere you wanted to on the page, right over the top of the picture.

But finally, the rules won out. You were expected to color inside the lines. And then, color inside the lines with equal pressure on the crayon, always in the same direction. Coloring became more of an assignment and less of an expression of who you are.

Talking about coloring inside the lines became a metaphor for playing by the rules, doing what was expected, completing a picture that someone else had created.

How did that feel?

If you are like me – and like many of our clients – you had just a little bit of resistance and rebellion inside you. A desire to draw your own picture.

That’s why you started your own business, right? No more coloring inside the lines for you! Or so you thought.

But sooner or later, you found yourself needing a little bit of guidance, at least a few lines on the page to give shape or form to what you were trying to create. Something to allow others to recognize what it is that you are offering.

So, how do you avoid going entirely back to using your color to brighten someone else’s picture without any trace of your own vision?

Be a Picasso – “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

That’s what business coaching is all about. We help you to understand the rules and how things work so that you can decide where and how to apply them to your business and when to ignore them entirely.

There are some rules that may be inflexible such as paying your bills and your taxes. Other rules have more flexibility within very broad parameters. And still other rules can be broken if you are creative enough and have the courage to create your own picture.

You choose – be the dutiful student who colors inside the lines or be a Picasso.

I can’t wait to see your picture.


Chris Ann Williams, CEO