I like living in the country of eco food, good water and clean air. The downside of it is that I’m above of mainstream small business digitalisation tendencies here. Therefore, having a digitalisation and design thinking coaching business is, for me, more challenging than for someone based in the western part of the EU.

Since I like living here, I’m always looking for a way to push my ventures beyond local boundaries. I’m following the trends in small business digitalisation very thoroughly because I want that my business strives internationally.

What I’m finding out is – the online business market is getting more and more saturated. It looks like it’s an easy way to earn money so many people start one. Several all-rounded online business programs lure hundreds of people, promising them all kinds of online world treasures. But most of their clients – potential course creators rarely create something that makes the difference.
Why – because, to be successful online, one needs to (1) be a real expert in your field AND dedicated to uplift your business online, (2) comprehend what do your customers truly need and (3) deliver it using tech stuff.

If you fulfil point (1) – you are in an advanced position streaming to success, because it’s an excellent way to overcome points (2) and (3). You can get more from the above mentioned all-rounded online programs.
Design thinking coaching and digitalisation strategy using adequate and straightforward solutions may prototype and launch your business online within a few months.

Still, there’s an opportunity for those who are on the fence of digitalisation, to benefit from it anyway.

If you didn’t notice, today everyone is a digital creator – yes, even YOU who don’t actively think of digitalisation and an online extension of your small business.
If you use LinkedIn, FB, Insta, and you write posts about your business – you are a digital creator, and your business is already online.

As I said, the market is saturated – and the good news is that there are always new places to go within it. Digitalisation is not going to go away, nope, it’s going to spread further and grow faster every day!

At this point, I feel that very soon all business will be digitalised by default, and that’s better to go with it as quickly as possible; otherwise, you might be left behind by those who took a faster track.

Why so? You’ll get the clear answer if you reframe the way you see your market position, and take the point of view of the customer. It’s not hard because you ARE customer to someone else, so forget that you’re a business owner for a moment – how does your business look like now?

If you want to get a glimpse of how does your business frontend window look like to the eye of a stranger, I’m getting ready a short questionnaire to take the snapshot – coming soon!

(Imagine the same if you had a congruent, skilled and differentiated digital strategy, that meets your tech-savvy-ness? Gorgeous, isn’t it! If you want to know how to make it feasible, feel free to email us at hello@dijananovak.com)

[read it on CustomerThink]

Growing your business idea into a business model, framework or method is a process of digging deep into your business idea essence.
When you start this process the first thing, you’ll find out is that your business idea is a vast territory full of various potential, waiting for you to build a structure on it.

When you get an excellent business idea, it’s like someone just gave you a first class ground parcel in the business city area. What would you do with that?
Build some structure on it, wouldn’t you?
The structure that serves your clients uniquely and purposefully, in the best possible way.

But also, you’ll think about all the people who’ll pass by as well, and you’ll want them to like it, become interested in it, and want to find out more about it.
Many of passengers will come in, look around, some of them will admire but walk away this time, but remembering that it’s there, and few of them will immediately enter and become your clients.

You see the analogy with the content about your business that you’ll put out there, don’t you?

It’s the beautiful façade on the business structure that shows what’s in there for your clients, and it organically grows as your business model developed.

Here are 3 amazing side-effects that come out of business idea development process:

1 – when you dig deep into your business idea, you’ll discover its purpose in your life – your “why”, and this will reveal many meaningful stories that you can share and attract like-minded people
2 – building your framework or model is like building a house, you’ll take many things in consideration, talk to people who’ll be using it, get much insight and find out their stories, their “why”, so your content can reflect how deeply you understand their challenges
3 – no matter how well-designed your facade is, it’s not a self-standing thing, there must be a structure behind it.
Therefore every piece of work you put in business model or framework development will also result with authentic and valuable content that will attract the right people to your business.

If you imagine your business in this way, you can clearly see the purpose of content in your business scheme.
People need to know that you’re out there, and many of them are missing your service and expertise.
Thinking of a content you put out there as a way of communicating that you exist, so they could easier find you, read about what you do, think and feel that you’re the right person to go to, and, based on that, take action.

Creative Business Drive is my framework that aims to help you work on structuring your own business model and framework, as well as plan your content creations accordingly. If you’re interested to find out that might work for your business, book a free strategy session with me and find out!

The secret behind any successful business is providing your clients with that what they really need, and adding your authentic value to it.
If you’re reading this article, I assume that you are an expert in your field, so why should you thrive to add extra effort to it?

Here’s why:

1 – adding extra value means that you really, personly and genuinely care about your clients and results they’ll get from your service

2 – adding extra value shows how much you love that what you do

3 – if you give some value away upfront, it paints a picture as there is there’s plenty of it later on

4 – by doing so you take the chance to show your expertise

5 – it shows that you actually do care about the people, not only about the money you’re getting from them

6 – following up with value is a beautiful way to express the gratitude

The design thinking coaching process is also about finding out the new way to add extra value to your existing business and incorporating a human-centred approach to designing your services.
Amazing part if it is, no matter how long you are in your business and how good you are, it turns out that there’s always an extra space to add some new, contemporary and authentic value to it.

If you’re interested in exploring what design thinking coaching can do for your business, book a free strategy call here>>>

After booking it, you’ll receive an extra gift: my Coaching card set (48 cards, 4 pages) in PDF format. Please print it out and cut it out, and we might use them during the call

What are the coaching cards?

It’s a set of hard paper cards with photos and/or text, with the purpose to help someone explore or express more profound thoughts and emotions associated with any given theme.

5 benefits of using Coaching cards in the decision-making process

1 – They can help you add value to the question.
Sometimes the challenge is not in finding the right answer, but in asking the right question. Adding value to the definition of the challenge might help you find a more profound response to it.
2 – The cards can increase the quality of your brainstorming and ideation process.
Because using cards overrides your rational brain they can help you get authentic association that might lead to unique solutions
3 – They help you reach your deeper thoughts and knowledge while keeping your mind in safe mode.
Your more profound thought, emotion and intuitive understanding are already there, influencing your decision. Using cards is a very soft way to get in touch with them
4 – Cards offer inspiration in the moments of feeling blocked.
Regardless of if you consider yourself and your field of work creative or not creative, decision making is often a creative process.
The primary challenge of all creative processes is the moment before a breakthrough, the point where you feel blocked as you’ll never get to the other side. This feeling might be so unpleasant that many people make a U-turn at that point and take the step back, depriving themselves of more significant success.
Using the cards can help you choose the right word and shape to undefinable, and bridge over the feeling of blocked thought process.
5 – The cards can increase the quality of a team or group communication.
If you are familiar with misunderstanding based on diversity of expression about the same thoughts, you know how long it might take to find the universal language.
Cards can help you get to that point faster, with the feeling of joy and curiosity.

So where can you find a set of Coaching cards?

It might not be so easy to find the appropriate set of cards. When googling, you might discover several cute therapeutical cards that are not so appropriate for business challenges.
Spiritual cards are also there, but also not so helpful in solving practical business challenges.
Some cards ask for extra skills that you don’t have time or interest to acquire.

Being an architect, art therapy practitioner, design thinker and business coach I tend to use creative tools in my work, I found out that a simple and inspiring set of coaching cards is acceptable to most of the people and suitable to most of the fields of business.
I faced the challenge of finding the “right” set of cards that I could recommend to my clients, but didn’t find the suitable one – some were not appropriate, some were too expensive, and all of them asked for extra engagement (time, effort) that my client just couldn’t afford, because they were busy working on their business.

So I decided to make a set of cards myself – and anyone who books a free Strategy call gets them as PDF file that can be printed out at any home printer and easily cut to cards.
These free cards are medium sized – a bit larger than a business card.
In this way, all of my clients get nice, simple and usable Coaching cards set before the session, and we might use it when working together.
If interested, you can book your free Strategy call here>>>

My paying clients get the PDF file XL-sized cards (each card is A5 size).

I recommend printing any card set on hard white paper (200-300gram) with a matte surface.

Some time ago people used to think that “creativity” is a special ability connected to art and that only talented and artistic people are creative.

For a long time now, creativity became a business category – we think about it when we talk about innovation and unique positioning in the market. Every business has creative potential, that meant that it can be done in a unique, uncommon and individual way, providing the clients with better than ordinary experience.

If you love what you do, if you feel the mastery of your practice, if you want your delivery to be upgraded and unique version over the ordinary, you are on the trail of creativity in your business. Creativity revokes the feeling of enjoying in your own work and makes you wake up happily looking forward to the new day, new client and new challenge.

It makes you celebrate each win and nurture the feeling of satisfaction with who you are and what you do.

Creativity is the ability to create, build something new, unseen, starting from old well-known things reframed in a new way – your way. By embracing it, you can transform your business idea into working business model and form your own method and framework to work with, and become visible and recognised expert.

Creative Business Drive is my coaching framework that can help develop your idea to your own framework. Find out more about Creative Business Drive coaching >>>

Content marketing advice – how often, where, how to post – there are many rules to follow and yet, when you want to apply it to your business, does it come easy, does your content flow?
How do you feel about it, does your own content marketing make you feel good?

I met some talented and hardworking people that slip in the gap of silence with this question, and the next thing we dig out is the feeling of not feeling well with the idea that your writing is actually a selling tool.

One of them, Sonja, who is extraordinary, uniquely talented, highly skilled person, said that she feels highly uncomfortable with the idea of “bribing” people with giving away her free content, so she doesn’t properly follow up with paid offers, so she ends with working on free content, and selling something completely disconnected to it. The result is that she works a double shift and doesn’t earn enough to make a proper living out of it.

Beside Sonja, many other people experience the same challenge, that is connected with the understanding of the wording “content marketing”.
The thing is that

It’s not marketing; it is a communication.

It’s all about reframing your understanding of the purpose of the content you produce.

But … if you put it like this:

⭐Right now I’m sitting in my office, and the world don’t know that I exist

⭐People don’t see how amazing I am at my work

⭐I want the people to get to know me and to find about my expertise

⭐I wish that people who need my expertise could find me so I can help them

⭐I want those people who like me have the chance to contact me

⭐I want to spread my knowledge and become well known for it

⭐I want to change the world for better, one person at a time

you’ll understand that the purpose of the content you produce is connected to achieving these goals!

If you put it this way, you might come with many new and inspiring ideas for content and conversation with your audience.

Be active, answer to every comment you get, be kind to people, and pay attention to what they like, and to what they really need – and you’ll find out what they’re passionate about.
That will help you develop the services they need and like.
And the sales will follow up naturally.
Reframing how you understand the content marketing can do the wonders to your communication with the people who are interested in what you do, after all, they are people like you who are doing their best to find the right solution for their challenge or need, and your job is to inform them that there’s a solution to it.

If you want to find out more how design thinking coaching that can help you grow your business book a free strategy call with me (and receive a free set of Coaching cards in PDF)>>>

If you thought this was another article about pursuing your passion and turn it into business, you’d be wrong. Been there, done that 20 yrs ago, and I found out that’s not so simple as it sounds.
At the same time now I positively confirm that the business is done around the passion.

The tricky question is: whose passion?

Let me tell you about a friend of mine; she is multitalented, bright and full of original, new ideas. One of the most creative people I ever knew, but as much stubborn in following her opinion and not consulting with the world around her. Do you know such people – I bet you do know whom I’m talking about.
She followed her inspiration and her ideas and quickly got lost in her world if creation. But her communication channel with the world around her was kind of upside-down experience – it seems that her audience didn’t quite understand her genius and at the same time she didn’t have enough patience to communicate it well. So her creations went one way, and her audience went another, and they never got together for long enough to start earning money she felt that she deserved.
She, as many multitalented and sensitive geniuses, misunderstood the idea of building a business around the passion.

Yes, one can have an excellent time doing what you love.
Yes, it is possible to make money doing what you love.
Yes, by doing what you love you can become an expert in it.
And Yes, if you want to do a serious business out of it, you have to found out which particulate part of your expertise makes your audience happy.

It’s their passion, not yours that your business is about.

When you have a passion, and you want to upgrade it to a business, first you have to found out in which part of your passion audience falls in love, and who and where are these people, what do they need, feel think and experience. And build your business on that foundation.

Design thinking coaching is the process that starts with your idea, your passion and helps you incorporate your client’s passion in it, to make your business a win-win journey.

Read more out more about design thinking coaching>>>

In today business, there’s so much to it but just Doing Business.
Firstly, Someone who needs you have to found out that you exist. Then you have to get together in some way and communicate. Then s/he has to like you, trust you and choose you over all lookalikes. And finally, buy what you offer, and then you have to provide him/her with excellent service. Or product. Or experience.
Then you have to stay in touch, and you have to keep him/her interested in coming back for more, and you have to keep being fiercely eager to keep up with your best work.
When it put it like this, it seems like a row of hard work. And it is – therefore to me, everything that can make it easier is warmly welcomed.

You see, most of my clients are people with a fantastic business idea, and in the beginning, when they only think about everything goes very easy, everything seems doable. Challenges start the moment they enter the market because that’s the moment when the fantastic idea has to grow into an outstanding business model. It has to learn the language of digital media because your business went digital in the very moment you open a FB page for it.
To understand what’s going on in your business, and where to find the people that seek what you do you have to think ahead, investigate, observe and find out what they actually need from you.
You have to map the journey that will end up with you serving them, because in most cases, they’ll be in the position to see you first, stay with you or go further.
So what is that your people will see the first time they’ll find out that you exist? Probably some post on social media that you use to promote your business. Actually, they’ll have to see it at least 7-10 times before they notice that you’re there. Therefore you have to be congruent in your expressions; otherwise, they’ll think you’re 5 different people or businesses, and move further.
Making good content by definition isn’t easy. At this point, it’s not enough to have a unique business idea; you have to distil it into an eye-catching combination of photos, words, videos. In the beginning, you probably rush in rapid content creation, put up several nice posts and then find yourself wondering what to do next – because you at that moment you feel that you said it all.

That’s the moment the real fun should begin – the point from where your creativity leads the way.
The moment you should stand by your idea and present Yourself, your Why and your Values.
What made you choose your path? What drives you? How do you want to improve the world? What’s your experience, and what experience do you want for your clients? How does your business look like inside? What kind of values do you promote by doing it?
It’s you and your values that can bring congruency to your content marketing, and if you create your content around them, you’ll become recognisable.


Here’s the simple exercise

that can help you create more content using the values that you and your business share:

Download my Coaching Cards set – you’ll receive them in PDF format if you book a free coaching session with me here>>>
Take the cards, and find 4-6 of them you (and your business) resonate the most with.

Coaching Cards that you can download here>>

Get an A3 (or larger) sheet of paper and put down a line. The beginning of it is the place and time where your client sees your business the first time, and the end of it is when he/she truly becomes Your Client. It’s kind of A to B journey, where A is the point where your potential client sees your post for the first time, and B is the point where he/she buys from you for the first time.
Look at the card you chose and take the first of your values that you want your client to see.
Put it near point A.
Chose another one and put it further along the way – anywhere you like it to be – from A to B, and finally end with putting the core value card of your business near the B. Yes, you may use some of the cards more than once if you feel like it. Yes, you can add some cards that you’ve written yourself – I’ll love you for that!
Now you have your Values map for content creation – the themes you can talk about, write about and refer to when you plan what you’ll post to social media.
How does it look like now to you?
Does it inspire you?
Connect to your timeline thinking about what you do, and your values, and what you could do to let your future client learn about them … and start creating.

Being an extraordinary business person often means that you have a unique perception that helps you make an exceptional decision. Doing things “old way” usually leads you to stereotyped results, and if you want to be a pioneer you need unconventional decision-making tools, right?


That’s the place for creativity to step into your business. The beauty of it is that it looks like play (like Lego’s serious play for instance), it’s amusing and incredibly insightful.


I remember working with a not so highly motivated group of people. Their colleague thought that creative tools might be useful for them, providing them with playful teambuilding spirit and business insights at the same time – yes, this person had previous experience with creative tools – but the group wasn’t happy at all. But they wanted a little escape time from their office desk, so they came to the workshop.


The very moment I took out my creative decision-making tool they became a bit more curious and the workshop developed into an amusing and fantastic experience for all of us, and they returned to their offices feeling relaxed, taking away new things and experiences that made them think differently about decision-making aids from now on.
You might ask now what is that I brought to their table – and I do feel like Santa sometimes😁
That what makes me different from most of design thinking coaches is my engineering education combined with strong expressive art therapy experience. I own a vast collection of figurines, legos, coaching cards, art material, and post-its as well, that combined with design thinking approach took this group experience from boring to engaged and useful in business.
If you want to find out more, read more about working with me here>>>>