Monica O'Brien, Creative Edge Coaching personal branding review

Monica O’Brien

"What would you do if you weren't afraid and money wasn't an object?"

We’d been talking for about an hour when Monica left me with this final question.  Little did I know where my answer would take me.*

Monica O’Brien is a coach for creatives, and the founder of Creative Edge Coaching.  She brings her decades of experience working with creative souls to help them get unstuck, (re)connect to their creativity and transform obstacles so they can thrive.  She’s got this fascinating blend of structure and intuition, which makes people working with her feel both held emotionally and sensitively, while being held to account at the same time.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”  ~ Albert Einstein

Creativity is a funny thing.  I think there might be a cultural stereotype we associate with the creative soul: loud, colourful, disorganised, disruptive, rebellious, perhaps moody.  Then of course, there’s the image of the starving artist.  If we don’t fit that mold, we mustn’t be a creative person.  But the more time I spend with people – and especially children – I believe that everyone has a connection to creativity.

Maybe not everyone will make it their career path, but everyone has some form of innate creative expression.  Sometimes creativity is evident in the way we cook, surprise a loved one, decorate our home, draw in the sand or parent.  It’s not something “out there”, belonging only to those with a loud voice.  Creativity is something that can enrich our own lives, our connection to the world around us, and potentially other people around us too.


The Impact of Creativity

I once sent a letter to a musician who I’d seen perform years earlier.  They lived on the other side of Australia, so I didn’t have the opportunity to see them live again, but I bought their CD and listened to their music often.  I was going through a period of loss and renewal, and joined Fat Mum Slim’s Photo A Day project – there’s a one word prompt for each day, and you take and share a photo in response to that word.  I started on 1st January 2013, and thought I’d last five days.  I surprised myself when I continued the project every day for five months!  It was the beginning of my love affair with photography; discovering a way to re-connect with the world that didn’t require me to be loud, high energy and performative.  I noticed more beauty, more opportunity, and more hope in my life.

So, back to the musician.  During this time, I sent a letter to the address listed on the back of this musician’s CD, to thank him for his beautiful music, and let him know the difference it had made in my life.  I was stunned when a month later I received a letter back from him, thanking me for connecting.  He himself was going through a period of change and self-questioning, and wasn’t sure if he even wanted to pursue music any more.  And then my letter had arrived.  Unbeknownst to me, it gave him encouragement at just the right time, and helped him see the impact he made.  He also enclosed a copy of his most recent, unreleased, roughly edited, songs.   I cried with gratitude.

That’s the power of creativity.  But back to Monica.



Monica’s Lifestyle Branding Photography Shoot

Because Monica works online with people from all around the world, we wanted to capture a mixture of her workday and lifestyle images, so that her potential clients could really get a sense of her energy and essence before working with her.  Although Monica doesn’t describe herself as creative, during our shoot I learned about the music she writes and publishes, and the artwork she creates – which we just had to feature as a background in some of her photos!

Monica shared this about our experience working together:

“Over the years I’ve often needed headshots or photographs taken of myself or people I have worked with.  More often than not, it’s been a stressful experience, so when I recently engaged Emma to do some new pics for me, I was pleasantly surprised with the whole experience.  Not only did Emma enable me to feel relaxed, but she also delivered photographs that I can actually use!

Emma is an artist.  She has that unique ability to capture the essence of her subject in a way that resonates authentically.  I highly recommend Emma of Your Inner Light Photography.

(PS. Thank you, Emma, for making this middle-aged woman look half decent. :-))”

Enjoy these highlights from my time with Monica O’Brien,


*PS. The answer to what I would do if I wasn't afraid and money wasn't an object: "Photograph people"... Your Inner Light Photography was born!

These images are from my Personal Branding for Coaches offering.

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