This week’s blog post is is written by Casey Dawes, owner of Wise Woman Shining.  Enjoy the article!  Have a fabulous day, and don’t forget to keep your eyes open for all the amazing possibilities within and around you!

Kris Cavanaugh

C.E.O. Catalyst / Speaker / Author / Coach

Business Lessons from Picasso
By Casey Dawes Owner of Wise Woman Shining

Business Lessons from Pablo Picasso by Casey Dawes

In the mid-1990s I had the opportunity to visit the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Spain. I had seen Picasso’s work most of my life. My mother was a great museum goer and we lived outside of New York City. By my mid-teens I’d seen Guernica when it was hanging in the Museum of Modern Art. (It was returned to Spain in 1981.)

I definitely had an opinion of what a Picasso painting looked like.

Imagine my surprise when I saw classic paintings created by Picasso in the Barcelona museum. They were nothing like the pieced bodies of familiar Picasso paintings. They were, well, realistic.

You may be thinking, “This is all very interesting, but what does it have to do with business?”

Let me tell you about many of the women small business owners that I meet.

They are brilliant women. They are creative and dedicated . . . and totally overwhelmed. Their businesses look like modern art . . . an eyeball over here . . . a nose over there . . . and a torso in the corner. Somehow it comes together as a whole, but it can be very stressful to look at and live in.

Somehow it all gets done, but we (I’m a woman business owner, too) know that it could be better. We could be more profitable. We could have a life that is more in balance. At least that’s what the pundits keep telling us.

At this point, it’s good to remember the lessons from Pablo Picasso.

When I looked at the paintings in Barcelona, I could see the craft. Picasso learned the basics of composition and painting. Once he had those solidly under his belt, he could cut them apart and rearrange.

Too many women business owner’s (and men, too), skip the basics step. They go right to creating the business that they envision and are surprised when they get tripped up. Often they are backed into a corner where they must put in more and more of their own money or go bankrupt.

The first basic is financial. Yes, we want “more” for our businesses. We want to provide good working environments for our employees, provide the product or service we love and save the planet at the same time. Who has time to look at numbers? Or the desire?

Picasso was a shrewd business man. He created art, but he also sold it. His daughter, Paloma, sells her jewelry at Tiffany’s . . . and her perfume at Target. Yes, she creates, but also understands what the world is about.

Like it or not, the world uses money to denote energy. We use it to determine the success of a business. Indeed, if you don’t have enough money to run your business, you don’t have a business, much less a chance to create the one you want to have. For many of us, it’s not how much money we earn, but what we are able to do with it, that counts.

You can get creative with company composition only after you understand company basics.

The second basic is creating plans and systems. You want to have a business that speaks without you in it. When Picasso created Guernica, he was creating a masterpiece to speak for him about the horror of war. He planned the piece, used systems to create the frame and backing to hold the piece together and then executed his vision.

As business owners, we must do that as well. We can plan what we want our business (our art piece) to look like, develop systems to hold it in place and then execute the vision.

Next time you see a piece of art that looks easy to create, look behind the painting. What are the systems that are in place? What is the piece selling for?

And, look at thriving businesses that you like? What attention are they paying to the basics? Are they creative and seemingly chaotic? Or are they just a bright concept held together by designer chewing gum?

It all depends on business basics.

About Casey Dawes

Casey Dawes, Wise Woman Shining (, is a business coach near San Jose who inspires, instructs and impacts women entrepreneurs internationally.  Her Wise Woman’s Guide to Writing a Business Plan, available on her web site, lays out the necessary steps to write a business plan.

So, now that you’ve read this article, how are you going to use this information to make the rest of 2010 a fantastic year for your life and/or your business?

Please take a moment and share your ideas in the comment section below.

Enjoy the rest of your day!  ~ Kris


About Kris Cavanaugh

Kris Cavanaugh, owner of ShiftTM, is a Speaker, Author and Coach who specializes in helping others cultivate a C.E.O. mindset in every area of their life so their businesses, careers, and personal lives thrive.  She is an expert strategist with an amazing ability to pull her clients through difficult challenges to obtain the life they truly want.

If you have a desire to live your life “on purpose”, so you wake up every day excited about the possibilities and maintain an unwavering belief that you will overcome any obstacles to achieve your personal and professional goals more easily, call Kris at 404-551-3601 or go to to schedule your complimentary meeting today.

Kris is author of “Stuck to C.E.O.” (available on Amazon) at

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Kris Cavanaugh is a Professional Member of the NSA (National Speakers Association).  If you or people you know are seeking speakers, panelists, or workshop instructors for any type of association, corporate, nonprofit or industry meeting, please contact Shift, Inc., at  You can learn more about Kris’ presentations at