Finish Line Private Coaching with Jessica Abel

Do the hard things on no one’s agenda but your own

Finish your beautifully unreasonable projects with a perfectly reasonable plan and 1:1 coaching

You’re a creative.
An innovator.

You’ve got big ideas for how you want to work, how you want to live, and the impact you want to make in the world.

Your vision for your future dangles the promise of the three magic ingredients for rewarding work: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

And once you taste that, it’s not something you can walk away from and just “get a job.”
It’s under your skin.

But when the game-changing plans continually fall to the bottom of your list, after…

…your kraken-like day job that wraps its sucker-lined limbs around every spare minute

…your free-range clients, heedlessly breaking through the boundaries you thought you’d reinforced with barbed wire

…your BFF’s latest relationship crisis—as unkillable as Freddy Kruger

…your kids’ school’s fundraiser. Your artist collective’s next show. Your spouse’s happiness.

…your sleep?

(Some reasons to put your focus elsewhere are good reasons!)

That’s when the future you’re trying to build endlessly recedes like a mirage in the desert.

Here’s the thing:

What you’re doing right now makes sense.

If you focus on client work, or what your boss is asking for, you’ll get paid.

If you drive your bestie to Seattle so she can drop off her special-needs foster rescue dog at its forever home, she’ll stop texting you every 45 minutes for emotional support.

If you keep doing what you’re already known for, you’ll keep your existing audience and clientele happy (or at least sated).

It’s safe.

What’s not safe?

The huge idea you obsess over that’s so risky, so scary, so challenging, you have no idea if you can pull it off.

But if do you finally launch your ideas into the world, they’ll mark a turning point in your life and career.

Those kind of risks are where the exhilaration—the joy—in life comes from. They’re where your future is built.

That highwire walk is why you signed onto your crazy ideas in the first place.

But taking creative risks, trying to create something that’s more—much more—than the sum of its parts…

…that’s exactly what you’re NOT going to magically find time for.

That kind of strategic, creative, developmental work requires time and space.

You absolutely, without a doubt, have what it takes to see your dream projects through.

(Yes, all coaching comes with awesome GIFs)
(Yes, all coaching comes with awesome GIFs)

What you need is the flexible structure, responsive to the realities of your life, that can get you there.

You need a personalized strategic plan.

You need tailored processes that reinforce your commitment.

You need the attention and support of someone who knows exactly what you’re going through and who cares that this work gets finished.

That's exactly what I can do for you.

Hi there. I’m Jessica.

Living a life as a serious, committed creative, shipping work on the regular without blowing up every other thing in your life is a delicate dance.

I know because I’ve taught hundreds of undergrads in art school for 25+ years. I’ve coached almost 1000 mid-career creatives to help them create comics, podcasts, novels, academic publications, blogs, courses, films, businesses…

…and more importantly, to own their identities as the makers and doers of all those things.

And I’m a creative myself: a cartoonist and illustrator, author of a dozen books, creator of three online courses, several coaching programs, and two podcasts. I’m the survivor of many a creative block and disastrous project.

I’m also married, I have two kids. I’ve moved my family abroad and lived in Mexico and France for a combined 6 years, and yes, I speak French and Spanish (badly). I have a house. I have a rather demanding garden that I probably talk about too much.

That’s a cool list, and I’m proud of it.

But what makes me most proud is not a fat resume, it’s that I’ve made creative work the center of my professional life for more than 30 years while raising kids, staying married, and getting enough sleep.

The work feeds me, both literally and metaphorically.

And that’s what I want for you.

Jessica Abel

Author | Teacher | Coach

You deserve to finish the work that you hold closest to your heart.
The work that could truly make a difference.

If you’re going to spend at least some of your time on the planet doing what matters to you most, you’d better actually start doing what matters most.

—Oliver Burkeman

Jenny Trautman Round

One of the best investments I've made all year.

I felt absolutely overwhelmed, and I had too many ideas to really get focused in on what I needed to do, and no way to consistently sort them. I felt guilty all the time, I felt like I never deserved a break.

And it felt like I was never going to be able to grow out of it.

Now, I have given myself a promotion. It's amazing how much my firm has grown and how much clarity I've gotten around what I do. I'm able to go and sell projects now that I would never have even attempted to follow up on as a result of what I have learned.

This is one of the best investments I've made all year. Jessica sent out an email calling for early registrations and I opened it and I opened my wallet, clicked on the link and signed right back up.

Jenny Trautman
strategic consultant

CFW + Momentum System coaching + AV ALUM
Bernie J Mitchell

It was life-changing.

What we did has been—and I do not use this lightly—life changing.

The space where I had been working closed down and I kind of felt like I lost a bit of my identity. I slumped into depression for about 2 hours, and then woke up and thought, actually this is great, because now I can go off and do what I really want to be doing!

I'm astounded at how I recognized the opportunity of the release. So here I am with a clear head and I know exactly what sort of client and freelance job I am seeking next and what to say no to.

I feel really unstuck. It's not that I know exactly what to do, but I know where I want to go. I have a path.

Bernie J. Mitchell
podcaster and content marketer

CFW + Momentum System coaching ALUM

By the end of the year, I should be able to pull in enough to run the house on just my money.

I was feeling very guilty about not being able to bring in what I felt was really just my market rate. I'm not even asking for a lot. I just wanted to be paid for the skills that I had. And even that was not happening.

Now I'm at a place where I can very easily see that by the end of the year, I should be able to pull in enough to run the house on just my money.

Avantika Hari-Agrawal
filmmaker and marketing strategist

Incubator business coaching ALUM

Q: What do all of these issues have in common?

  • You need to get real about your creative business and put in the structure and foundation that will support your growth, but all the advice you see is totally out of alignment with your creative work (and the demands of your life!)
  • You used to see some kind of correlation between effort and success, but now you’ve been stuck in one spot forever and you need to pull off something big to level up
  • You’ve got a million possibilities swimming around in your head and you can’t figure out what to focus on or how to quit second-guessing yourself, so instead you try to do everything and finish nothing
  • You’ve got a product you want to launch but it’s got so many moving parts, you’re stuck at 80% (or 20%!)
  • You can spend hours every week thinking about your dream project, yet when it comes time to do the work, you’re suddenly way too busy
  • You’ve been working professionally in your field for years and are amazing at what you do…but the money and the time crunch just get worse

A: They don't have to hold you back.

Here’s how we’ll get it done with Finish Line Private Coaching


Confidence-building clarity comes from designing a customized strategy that has your actual financial, energetic, health, and personal needs and realities baked in from day one.

Action becomes easy when you’ve got a step-by-step implementation plan. No more guesswork!


Confidence-building clarity comes from designing a customized strategy that has your actual financial, energetic, health, and personal needs and realities baked in from day one.

Action becomes easy when you’ve got a step-by-step implementation plan. No more guesswork!


You don’t have to do it alone! I’m there to support you as you face the daily decision to keep walking out on that wire.

Support includes a kickoff Deep Dive session, live calls approximately every two weeks, and asynchronous voice and text support between sessions.

Michael Wittman Round

I feel so powerful at this moment, it is unbelievable.

Before the Creative Focus Workshop, I felt desperate. I would not produce anything without an external deadline. And even with a deadline I usually did not manage to finish anything more complex than illustrations or single-page comics or cartoons. For years I have aborted all projects of multi-page comic stories.

It’s amazing, the progress I’ve made.

When I chose my One Goal, I pushed to make it the most ambitious thing I could think of. And now I’ve done it! Amazing! I feel so powerful at this moment, it is unbelievable.

Michael Wittmann

CFW + Momentum System coaching + AV ALUM
andre headshot

You're going to see your life transformed.

I look back and I realize that my God, I was working so differently six months ago. There are things I do and tools I have that make every day really, really much better.

What you will find out, like I did, is that you can read about this as much as you like. But not before you're actually in a workshop, doing the assignments each week, having this community around you, having Jessica to lead all of this—that's where you're going to see your life being transformed.

André Hedetoft
film director

CFW + Momentum System coaching ALUM
Sarah Marie Lacy

Jessica understands both the art world and the business world.

Your background made me feel like, this is someone who understands both the art world and the business world. 

I can come with my specific set of problems and not have to explain all of the backstory of what the art world is like and why someone's nice tidy solution won't work…

I have a plan for my business now and that sense of… control isn't the right word, because control feels really tight. But a command of this information that I can use to make better choices, use to make better decisions, use to create strategies.

Sarah Marie Lacy
portrait painter

Incubator business coaching alum

Make finishing inevitable and growth the default option

I work with creative people who have awesome, unreasonable ideas they are determined to see through, and who are committed to a future where their self-generated work is at the center of what they do every day.

That includes both people who have (or want) their own business, as well as those who don’t need or want significant income from their work, but still see that work as sitting at the core of who they are.

Finish Line Coaching may be perfect for you if:

  • You’re an early-to-mid-stage creative business owner who’s constantly working nights and weekends but still not getting to the game-changing (and profit-making!) projects you know need to happen
  • You’re an innovator with big ideas for a business that you need to get off the ground
  • You have a side-hustle you want to turn into your real job
  • You have a big, juicy creative project—a book, a podcast, a film, a graphic novel—that’s withering in the corner because you can’t seem to make time for it
  • You have several, or dozens, of creative projects you’re trying to juggle and you just can’t settle on one for long enough to see it through
  • You’ve got complex, overlapping commitments and constraints that require a custom approach to building a sustainable creative life
  • Your creative brain has a non-standard neurology and standard approaches to getting things done just don’t work for you
  • You want to solve your issues by strategically choosing the right focus and building a strong foundation, not by layering on tactics and hacks
  • You want to figure out how to close your income gap by working less for more money, instead of making and doing more all the time

This might not be a great fit if:

  • You are just getting started and don’t necessarily identify as creative. 
  • You’d prefer to use templates or simple tactics to finish your projects, and generally find that you can get good results with standard systems if you put your mind to it. 
  • You want to start a creative business but you have no idea what it would be
  • You’re extremely overwhelmed, but there’s nothing on your list of current commitments that you’d be willing to reconsider
  • You’d rather put out fires than address fundamentals and build a strong foundation
  • You’re not able to commit to finding (with my help!) at least 2-3 hours a week of time for your creative work

Clarity & Action 3-month private coaching package

With private coaching, you can get the support you need to finish the work that's calling your name. Use your next big project as a vector to level up and create the life you envision.

Here's what you'll get with your enrollment:

  • One 90-minute Deep Dive Strategy Session, where we'll create a 90-day strategic plan to work towards your big goals.
  • Five additional 1:1 calls, approximately every two weeks for 50 minutes, for the one-on-one, customized attention that you need to stay on track. We'll work on your projects in the order we’ve determined. Each session we’ll troubleshoot and then work on strategy, planning, and blocks on an as-needed basis.
  • Finish Line Strategy Dashboard. I will set up a client dashboard that we will share, outlining the projects we’ve decided on and outlining next steps.
  • Access via your dashboard to curricular materials from the Creative Focus Workshop, Authentic Visibility, and The Autonomous Creative Incubator as needed to complete your projects.
  • Weekly Reflections. Every Friday you'll be sent a Weekly Reflection worksheet that will help you gain perspective on your day-to-day progress, celebrate your successes, and analyze your challenges so that you can design new solutions. This piece of the program is so simple, but the way it asks you to look at your issues objectively retrains your brain to be a problem-solving machine. A client recently said, “This form is genius…I can resolve my issues when I view them as ‘a friend's’ problems.”
  • 90-day goal setting check-in. Whether you choose to extend our coaching engagement or not, each 90 days, we will check in and set your priorities for the following 90 days. If we continue to work together, your new priorities will get added to your dashboard.
  • Asynchronous voice and text access to me via the app Voxer every weekday so that you never have to waver as you move forward on your goals. Send me a message any day of the week, and I'll answer within 24 hours on weekdays.
  • Membership in The Autonomous Creative Collective for the duration of your coaching engagement.

The investment for Clarity & Action is $4000.
A three-month payment plan is available, at $1370 per month.

Finish Line 2-Session Intensives

Intensives offer a fast track to results. They’re the perfect solution when you want help to confidently (and quickly!) choose the right priority and build out a personalized plan for finishing, but you don’t need ongoing support.

Here's how an Intensive plays out:

  1. The Intensive takes place over two 3-hour sessions (with breaks!), about two weeks apart.
  2. Before the Intensive you will fill out a questionnaire to help define the issue.
  3. In session one, we work together on defining priorities.
  4. I’ll set up a project dashboard for you with the prep you’ll need before our second session.
  5. We’ll use our second session to produce a project plan and troubleshoot issues.
  6. You finish and launch your project!

Some examples (not exhaustive!) of the kinds of projects we can tackle in an Intensive:

  • Expanding your capacity by strategic decision-making and sunsetting projects
  • Plan strategy to complete a behind-schedule major project + project milestone tracker
  • Offer redesign for sustainability and profit
  • Messaging and positioning deep dive
  • Design and setup for a creative practice habit
  • Developing your brand story
  • Setup and practice for turning down the volume on your inner critic
  • Creating a sustainable marketing plan

The investment for the Intensive is $2500.

Intensives are awesome if:

  • You’re ready to move on—something—but you’ve got several options, and need support to decide which will move the needle fastest, and to break it down into a step-by-step plan.
  • You want to grow or scale your existing business, but you’re awash and overwhelmed with possible options, and you don’t want to waste time and resources sorting it out.
  • You need the strategic, 10,000 foot view and also the granular 5-foot view so that you’re confident about your decisions and next actions, and you know you’re not wasting effort.
  • In just two sessions, you’ll walk away with a plan you can believe in and stick to, crafted around your vision, strengths, and values, so you can start finishing fast.

They’re not a great fit if:

  • You don’t have anything on your list that’s in progress or a strong contender for what you want to do next.
  • You’re looking for ongoing support and troubleshooting (though you can certainly upgrade to a longer coaching package if you need that!)
  • You just want to be told what to do. We focus on custom-built strategy built around YOUR strengths and your needs, not templates and tactics.

Apply for a free 30-minute Strategy Session

In our 30-minute call, we’ll discuss your goals, get clear what’s keeping you from gaining traction on your work, and identify next actions We’ll also discuss options for working together.

Click the button below, fill out the application, and I'll get back to you within two business days with a response. If it looks like I could be a good fit to help you, I’ll send you a link to schedule your free 30-minute Strategy Session.

Why an application? I help career creatives and business owners identify, plan, finish, and launch their businesses and next big projects. But I’m not an expert in everything! This application helps me identify whether I may be the right person to help you with what you’re facing. If not, I want to be very upfront about that, so you can find what you need!

Maggie Winnall Round


I’m no longer a procrastinator; I’m a finisher.

I described myself as a "finisher" because over time I have closed open loops on many partially done quilt projects.

I finished a huge quilt I started 30+ years ago. I’ve competed 18+ small quilts and have refined my studio space.

I’m proud of what I’ve done.

I’m not sure at what point the scales tipped from "procrastinator" over to "finisher" but finisher I am.

Maggie Winnall
quilt creatrix

Lisa F

My creative life has flipped 180°.

Before, I was afraid to commit to my life as an artist fully, and would only work under extremely high pressure. This system led to results, but also to multiple mini burn outs every year.

Now, my artistic life has changed 100% in comparison. I am no longer afraid. Instead, I wake up looking forward to start my creative day. I don't need the high pressure anymore, thanks to habits and rhythms I created. The prioritizing tools I learned, help me sort my thoughts – so I know what to do when I start feeling overwhelmed by my ideas and aspirations.

I confidently predict that the systems and strategies I learned will influence my creative life for decades to come.

Lisa Frühbeis
cartoonist and graphic recorder

Chris Sellers White BG Round

Step-by-step support for building a business from creative work.

Jessica has provided me with invaluable support on my journey, drawing on her wealth of real-world experience. She showed me how I can build a business from my creative work, one step at a time, every step of the way

Chris Sellers
game designer and publisher

1:1 Coaching ALUM

Give your work the attention it deserves, and build your future.

Doing is transformational.

When you are consistently finishing your work…

You walk through your life knowing in your core:

You are the Person who Does the Thing.
No one can take that from you.

And from that core identity shift spring all kinds of positive changes.

You can offer yourself compassion, instead of blame, when you whiff a self-imposed deadline, and just keep consistently working towards the finish line.

You can create and defend healthy boundaries with the people in your life so your priorities don’t get steamrolled.

You can put work out into the world without anguishing over every detail. You don't quit or give up because you’re afraid the final product won’t meet some abstract standard.

You can make clear-minded decisions rooted in knowledge of what matters most to you so you don’t feel you have to justify yourself to anyone or second-guess yourself.

You can feel a sense of autonomy and agency, free to experiment, pivot, implement on the fly, and feel a deep, abiding connection to the work in the moment.

You can grow to trust your instincts, trust your creative community, and most importantly, to trust and believe in yourself.

This is the new reality I want for you.

And we can create that reality, together.

Courage comes before confidence.

You can do this.