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[26] How a Natural Disaster Inspired Sonia McManus to Follow her Creative Dream

Deciding to run a business and follow your passion is not always (i.e. – ever) the easy choice.

You will work harder than you ever have before, and there’s no doubt that you need to be dedicated, because you’re in it for the long haul!

This week, I invited my friend and long-time student – Sonia Mcmanus of Tiki Kiwi and Paper Petals – to come on the podcast. I’ve watched Sonia grow her businesses over the last few years, and I love the path she’s created for herself. Not only that – she has a moving story to tell about how a natural disaster in her city prompted her to finally chase her creative dreams.

As you’ll hear, she knows a thing or two about being a busy entrepreneur – all while juggling ‘the day job’, and being a single mum to an almost-teenager. Her passion and determination really shine through in this interview – I literally got goose bumps at one stage listening to her!

If you’ve ever been unsure as to whether you’re on the right path – whether you should be chasing your own dream – don’t miss this episode.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • We all hit crossroads where we must decide if we want to “chase down something that is really meaningful.” {Sonia}
  • Natural disaster makes you recognize the need to follow your passion.
  • Turning your hobby into your business takes dedication, commitment, and time.
  • Self-Doubt is a part of the creative-process.
  • “Acknowledge your doubts. Sit with them without judgement.  Ride it out.” {Sonia}
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.  Opportunities can only present themselves when we are available to receive.
  • It’s okay for your business to evolve over time, in fact, you may want to expect it.
  • Different outlets can fulfill different creative needs within ourselves.
  • Know your audience and your business.
  • Have a creative hobby/outlet OUTSIDE of your business.
  • Morning Pages: Start your day with a writing meditation exercise.
  • How to Change your Life by Changing your Morning Routine
  • Sean Wes: Revolutionize Your Day, By Changing Your Routine
  • If something doesn’t work for you, it’s okay to get rid of it.
  • “Just don’t give up, keep it going.” {Sonia}
  • Running a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint.  You need to be in it for the long haul.
  • Show up everyday!
  • To learn more about Sonia visit her website TikiKiwi or her Instagram.

Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.


Emma Kay

Thanks Sonia and Jess. I also found The Artist’s Way changed my life and did the morning pages for years. Well not always in the morning, but I wrote in a journal most days. I’m not doing them currently because I’ve replaced them with making a new thing each day. I will return to the daily pages at some point though. They are really helpful aren’t they Sonia?

What say you?