Diving Deep and Exploring Paris
Over the years I’ve shown hundreds of people around Paris who work in all sorts of industries. I love seeing Paris through their lens, whether they’re a florist, illustrator, shoe designer, or are making luxury pet supplies. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, my clients open my eyes to new ways of seeing.
That’s also why I decided to launch Deep Dive Days. Deep Dive Days are day long experiences in Paris that combine my Paris tours with creative coaching for a day of inspiration, exploration, and discovery.
Over the past year I’ve also pivoted my business away from design and more towards coaching and consulting. Design will always be at the heart of what I do, but I see design more as creative problem solving these days than creating beautiful graphics. I love using the tools from UX and design thinking and applying them in new ways.
I like to think of my latest offer as my own version of “Steve Jobs walking meetings” where we walk and talk and see things as we go, finding inspiration far beyond what we see on the internet, with the bonus of human connection—with each other, and people we may encounter along the way. Jobs himself would often prefer to go for a walk than hold a meeting at a desk. I concur, it’s far more productive and constructive, and a lot of clarity comes from the simple act of going for a walk and moving your body. Fact: my best ideas come from being out in the world, not from sitting in front of my computer. Science also shows us that connective things happen between synapses in our brain when we walk too.
In any case, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What happens when I get to spend a day with a client supporting them in a way where we’re out in the world and not trapped behind a desk and a computer?” It’s time to shake things up!
This isn’t some pre-packaged day. It gets designed just for you and your interests. I’m here to listen, engage, and support you however you need.
My version of a Deep Dive Day
The day starts with a coffee where we make a tentative game plan that piggy backs on the questionnaire I send after the day is booked. Coffee (or any alternative that seems fitting to the theme) will be in a neighborhood that makes sense to hit our first stops. Depending on your interests this may be a must-see shop, a visit to a bookstore, or maybe a museum visit. The idea is that we keep sparking ideas as we go. No two days are the same.
Merci as captured by literary agent Molly O’Neill. The Used Book Café was naturally a great place to start our day when showing around someone who works with books!
There’s no set itinerary or game plan. This is Paris, so I hope you’re open to a bit of adventure, because there may be moments that may change our course, or through our conversations something else may come to mind that sets us exploring in a completely different direction. This day is designed to benefit YOU, and help you get the most out of it, so as new thoughts surface, you’re encouraged to share them, and be open to possibilities.
During our full day of exploration we’ll also stop for lunch and snacks as needed/desired. (Maybe your interests for exploration are all around food!). We can talk about Paris, about business, or anything else. As conversation ebbs and flows we’ll see themes emerge that will help inform our—and your—next steps.
When we part ways, you can still expect to receive a full recap of our day, ideas for spending the rest of your time in Paris, and a 30 minute follow-up coaching call to see how things have developed since our time together. I’ll be your guide throughout the explorations. Ultimately this day is about you!
So who is this for? Did it excite you to read the description? Then it sounds like it’s for YOU! I’ve shown around everyone from product designers, to literary agents. You may find that you come in with a specific goal (like Christine Herrin who wanted to explore ideas for packaging design for her product like Everyday Explorers—the top image is when we went on a hunt for beautiful graphic design inspiration at the Paris tourism office), or you may not have a specific outcome in mind, but you’re just looking to be inspired in new ways (like Brooklyn based literary agent Molly O’Neill on her “eat, pray, work remotely” pilgrimage to Europe).
When illustrator Julia Rothman came through Paris we explored Parisian sex stores as part of research for her new book which she illustrated once back in NYC! The possibilities are limitless.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of themes our day could take, or some combination:
- illustration (looking for examples, or stopping to draw throughout the day)
- “Made in France”
- art books
- children’s books
- health food stores
- beautiful packaging
- ribbon shops
- flower shops
- comic books
- pet supplies
- wayfinding signage
- graphic design
- plants as a trend
- Paris café chair patterns
- writing our way through Paris
- beautiful stationery
- Paris movie locations
- independent design shops
- ceramics (or some other material)
- passage ways
- Paris from different vantage points
- good coffee
- the expat influence
- the least touristy areas of Paris
- a particular product (once I took a client on a hunt for soup and yogurt for their research!)
You don’t even need a set theme, but it can be an interesting way to make our way through the city as we dive into your interests and what makes you tick. Themes may be more concepts (balance, freedom, exploration) than something tangible like flowers or comics, or it could be some combination of both. What’s most important is you own who you are and what you’re interested in exploring. We’ll probably uncover some more ideas throughout the day. We may end up chatting about something Paris related, or perhaps an new-to-you author or Instagrammer who may help you solve that missing piece of what you’re working on. There’s no one way to do a Deep Dive Day. All I ask is that you are open. That means having some fun too!
The Deep Dive Day is about discovery, the art of noticing, and learning to pay attention. Throughout the day we’ll tune into our senses and curiosity to drive our sense of adventure. Who knows where it may take us…
A new kind of professional development
The day long experience is ideal for small business owners who are looking for a creative burst and extra support in business. It also makes for a fabulous business expense where you get to invest in yourself! (This is exactly how I prioritize my own travel. I travel to learn and grow in a way that supports me, my interests, and benefits my business.)
If you work in a more traditional full-time job, I’d love to work with you too! Is it something your boss would send you to as a professional development day? If so, then you have the coolest boss ever! Are you a boss who wants to offer employees an alternative to development days behind a computer or a retreat that gets out of the building? Here you go!
Are you feeling stuck professionally and want to do something to invest in yourself? We can work through that too. I love working with career changers or those looking to make a pivot. Sometimes getting out into the world is all you need to provide the jolt of clarity you’ve been waiting for. Being proactive and investing in yourself can be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Still not sure, but you’re curious? Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or sign up for a complimentary 15 minute call and we can talk it through to see if this sounds like a good fit for you.
Oh, and as a bonus, all Deep Dive Day participants get automatic access to Navigate Paris Online if you need a refresher to the city and how to get around before we dive in together.
You can find more about Deep Dive Days here!