While I may not technically be on a first-name basis with Janelle Monáe or Dolly Parton, I feel like I know them well enough to imagine the advice they would give me if I could text them in a moment of panic.

Sometimes that perspective is all you need.

Your Imaginary Board of Advisors

Janelle and Dolly are both valued members of my Imaginary Board of Directors. It’s a list of folks I admire and can turn to for some made-up guidance whenever I need it.

You can design your own Imaginary Board of Directors as a creative way to solve problems and overcome challenges. The process is easy enough:

  • Brainstorm a few artists, business owners, podcasters, authors, historical figures, or fictional characters that inspire you.
  • You could write these names on a Post-it note, tack them up on your office wall, and call it a day. (In fact, this is a prompt in our Self-Care Master Plan!) But, being the visual person that I am, I think there's something powerful about creating and displaying photos of your Imaginary Board of Directors. That way, it's like they're with you during every boring Zoom call!
  • After you come up with your list, take a moment to reflect on what values these folks represent. How do you want to incorporate their mindsets into your life?

My board represents values I want to live daily—generosity, ambition, and creativity.

My Imaginary Board of Directors (clockwise starting at the top): Mary Oliver, Jeni Britton Bauer, Janelle Monáe, Lynda Barry, Fred Rogers, Dolly Parton, and Michelle Obama.

Imaginary Board of Directors - Free Period Press

Board of Directors Starter List

Need ideas for your own Imaginary Board of Directors? Here’s a list of 50 inspirational folks to get you started:

  1. Amanda Gorman
  2. Amy Poehler
  3. Anthony Fauci
  4. Betty White
  5. Beyoncé
  6. Bruce Springsteen
  7. Coco Chanel
  8. Conan O’Brien
  9. Dwayne Johnson
  10. Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. Eliot Page
  12. Elizabeth Gilbert
  13. Frida Kahlo
  14. George Takei
  15. Greta Thunberg
  16. Helen Keller
  17. Jacinda Ardern
  18. Jane Goodall
  19. Jeff Goldblum
  20. John Lewis
  21. Judy Blume
  22. Kamala Harris
  23. Kate McKinnon
  24. Keanu Reeves
  25. Lady Gaga
  26. LeBron James
  27. Lin-Manuel Miranda
  28. Mahatma Gandhi
  29. Malala Yousafzai
  30. Martin Luther King
  31. Maya Angelou
  32. Megan Rapinoe
  33. Meghan Markle
  34. Melissa McCarthy
  35. Meryl Streep
  36. Mother Teresa
  37. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  38. Oprah Winfrey
  39. Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  40. Rosa Parks
  41. Serena Williams
  42. Shonda Rhimes
  43. Simone Biles
  44. Taylor Swift
  45. Tina Fey
  46. Tom Hanks
  47. Toni Morrison
  48. Ursula LeGuin
  49. Viola Davis
  50. Yayoi Kusama

Who do you wish could give you advice on your life or business? Let us know on Instagram!

And, if you enjoyed this creative exercise, check out our Vision Board Book to create more visual reminders of your values and goals.

Imaginary Board of Directors | Imaginary Board of Advisors | Free Period Press