What would Barbie do?

A Success Tip for Creatives

The widow clicquot reimagined painting by cece Philips

This Success Tip is based on a powerful, proven technique for accessing your hidden potential.

My version is called, What would Barbie do?

(And it’s not what you’re thinking!)

A Success Tip from the experts

Have you ever heard the question, Who would you invite to your Ultimate Dinner Party?

It’s often asked as an exercise to reveal clues to who your heroes are, or what particular characters or achievements you aspire to, and it can be an enlightening process.

It’s also fun!

It’s inspiring to imagine sharing a meal and a conversation with the kind of people that fascinate you.

I was asked this question recently, and I knew immediately who I’d love to have at my Ultimate Dinner Party.

From the title of this post, you may be thinking I’d love to chat with a certain doll persona, but I believe my chosen character is much more captivating.

(Partly because as an English child of the 80s, my doll of choice was a brunette Cindy, rather than her bubbly blonde rival.)

So, who is the esteemed Barbie that would be the Guest of Honour at my table?

Here’s a clue…


veuve clicquot solaire culture sunny side up cafe bar champagne bottles display wall

Introducing… My kind of Barbie

If you’ve been in my world for even just a little while, you may have seen some of my posts, images, trips and insights inspired by my all-time favourite brand.

Veuve Clicquot.

I LOVE this brand, even more than the champagne. (Though I’m certainly partial to a glass or two of the Widow.)

One of my favourite days last year was a day trip to London with my sister to visit Solaire Culture, the Veuve Clicquot 250th Anniversary Exhibition.

If you know the brand, you can imagine what an inspiring and visual treat the company put on – even the Sunny-side Up pop-up cafe was a delight.

With my branding and design background, the latest iterations of the Veuve Clicquot brand are a masterclass in the power of aesthetics and ethos to engage a loyal audience in a hugely competitive space.

I’m just one of many millions who love the brand style, but what really captured my heart is the story of its founder – the bold and pioneering 17th-century woman who was born into wealth during the perilous French Revolution era.

The woman who became a legendary entrepreneurial success story, going on to build the champagne empire that we all know today.

I’m so captivated by the history and achievements of this little-known character from history that I’ve read Tilar J Mazzeo’s book, The Widow Cliquot, four times.

And the name of this quiet legend?

Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot.

Or as I like to call her… Barbie.

veuve clicquot spotty portrait painting london solaire culture art

My Ultimate Dinner Party Guest

Barbe-Nicole is the woman I’d choose to grace my table at my Ultimate Dinner Party.


Because there’s a theory that if we admire or respect someone, it means that those admirable qualities are inherent within us, though perhaps dormant or untapped.

The trait I most admire in Barbe-Nicole is boldness.

I admire her courage in the face of staggering adversity.

I aspire to her tenacity, her endurance, and her visionary grit.

If the theory is true, my appreciation of these qualities means that they are already present within me – which is encouraging.

Yet, I’m also aware that there’s room to hone and grow and develop these qualities much more.

Because I have some big dreams and grand ideas, and I feel that it will take a bolder version of the current me to bring them to life.

In my pursuit of boldness, one of my favourite practices is to virtually access the qualities of my heroes and heroines, whenever I’m facing challenges that I feel are beyond me.

And so, What would Barbie do? is a regular consideration.

According to Todd Herman in his book Alter Ego, accessing – even in our imagination – the traits of people we admire can give us confidence and provide a real and measurable boost to our courage.

Just asking the question can spark a reframe or shift our thought patterns from feelings of fear or doubt, to a more possibility-thinking mindset.

All we need to do is take a moment to pause and consider another way to view the issue, with a little (virtual) help from the great minds or inspiring heroes that we admire or aspire to emulate.

veuve clicquot folding pleated icebox champagne bottle holder solaire culture exhibition display wall copy

Success Tip: What would your hero do?

Are there are traits that you’d like to cultivate in your life?

Do you aspire to the greatness or achievement of certain inspiring characters – past or present?

Would you like to tap into the power and magic of this process?

If you’d like to give it a go, can you give some thought to your heroes?

Perhaps you could plan your Ultimate Dinner Party, so see who you’d love to invite – and why.

Maybe you’d like to borrow your idol’s grace-under-pressure vibe.

Or maybe you’d love to adopt your hero’s supreme faith and trust that everything will always work out well for you.

Or perhaps you’d also like to embody more pioneering boldness for your creative adventures.

Once you know who inspires you to think bigger, feel braver, or live with more clarity, confidence or calm – see if you can tune into their greatness, just with your imagination.

Take a moment to pause, take a breath, and ask, What would my hero do?

It may seem too simple and unlikely to be effective, but I invite you to try it for yourself, the next time you feel out of your depth, or you’re facing a challenge that you feel is too much.

Calling to mind a powerful persona is the habit and practice of many great achievers – whether it’s a real person or an invented persona, such as Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce.

The more you tune into the potential of this practice and try it out in your own life, you’ll soon see just how powerful our imagined hero connections or alter egos can be.

Would you like to join the greats and play with this fun idea?

If you’d like to awaken the traits that are already within you – the ones you so admire in others, if you’d like to enjoy the potent effects of your powerful imagination, I hope you’ll give it a go.

And if you’d like to share your heroes or the new traits you’re going to start embodying in your life, I would LOVE to hear all about it.

To you, your heroes and the power of imagination,

danielle raine creativity coach

PS I wrote this post, waiting nervously in a waiting room for a much-hoped for result.

Asking What would Barbie do? helped me to feel calmer, just by shifting my focus to the idea of boldness.

This simple shift from fretting to imagining myself as brave and powerful made a huge difference to my experience in that waiting room.

Did it influence the outcome?

Well, initially the result was not what I’d been hoping for, but by the end of the day, there were happy tears and grateful renditions of the Halleluia Chorus.

But regardless of the outcome, I know that channelling my Inner Barbie helped me to cope more bravely with those tense, uncertain moments.

And I’m sure that virtually accessing your chosen heroes will do the same for you, too.


veuve clicquot original portrait quote work rank first

Dive Deeper…

Want more self-coaching exercises and simple tips for navigating the challenges of a creative life? 

I’ve created a suite of practical, do-able solutions – a virtual Master’s Degree of Creative Living – called the Creative Well Membership.

It includes a range of support programmes to help with aspects such as mindset, confidence, energy and wellness, as well as finding your dharma and clearing resistance

There’s even a handy flow chart to help you see exactly which is the next step for you in your unique journey.

You can find more details here, along with a Founders Rate that I hope will inspire you to take the bold and determined steps that will help you creative the Big Dream or vision that’s calling you.

Because it’s calling you for a reason: there’s a place in the world that only your unique creative works can fill. 

And the Creative Well Membership will help you bring them to life. 


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Access all courses. Cancel anytime. 

“Success is a journey, not a destination.”


The creative process is a unique challenge. 

And creatives need a special kind of support. 

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Hi! I'm Danielle.

creative coach danielle raine

creative coach danielle raine l



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