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Be the Monarch: Build Your Own Kaleidoscope

Have you ever witnessed a kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies? They flap and float and mesmerize anyone watching, and the kaleidoscope (yes, that’s what a swarm of butterflies is called!) is exceptional because the chances of a butterfly making it into the world are only 1 in 10. Bugs love to eat butterfly eggs. And sometimes we feel like our chances for success, like the Monarch butterfly, are low.

But with a few items, you can build a framework that increases the odds of your survival as well as the Monarch butterfly’s (seriously, check out Anna's Blog on Building a Butterfly Habitat and watch the video at the end to see the birth of a Monarch).

Imagine building your own kaleidoscope for your career. It starts with a simple framework—and it doesn’t require anything other than items you have within you. A realistic dream for your future, a plan to build your dream, ways to make the dream a reality (yes, that means stepping out of your comfort zone), and celebrating all successes along the way.

Let’s build a kaleidoscope!

Step 1: A Monarch habitat starts with an inexpensive wooden crate or any box with air holes in the sides. Your career success starts with a framework for your vision.

Step 2: Attach lightweight, breathable fabric to the box, covering the holes. Attach a plan to your framework by taking small actions each day to build your dream.

Step 3: Seek butterfly eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves. Seek joy in the steps you are taking by celebrating small wins daily. I recommend journaling each one. Imagine how fast that journal will fill up!

Step 4: Position the egg-laden leaves inside the box on top of a paper towel. Caterpillars emerge and eat the leave. Position your activities to align with your vision and watch how your dream starts to come alive.

Step 5: Provide daily sustenance and maintenance to the caterpillars by sliding the old leaf from the habitat and replacing it with fresh milk thistle (you’ll need lots of milk thistle). Provide sustenance and maintenance to your dream by discarding tasks that do not line up with your vision.

Step 6: Get to work! The caterpillar will spin silk into a chrysalis. This is hard work. You too will need to work hard to see your dream turn into success.

Step 7: Be Patient! Just like the Monarch emerging from a chrysalis, stretch grow, spread your wings, and celebrate your kaleidoscope!

Want to see a kaleidoscope in action? Check out this video.


Executive Mom Nest advisor, professor, speaker, and author Alison Nissen is the executive director of Branded Interviews, a platform that creates video business cards, webinars, and courses for authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs. She is also the co-founder and president of Revel Coach, a career growth platform and award-winning author. Follow her Tales from the Laundry Room @


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