Posts

Dying From Exposure

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At the end of my second year of full-time music, I had a revelation. I was exhausted and broke and I couldn't figure out why. Looking at the calendar for that year showed me something I couldn't believe. I had played 80 percent of my gigs that year for free. It seems like creative people are asked frequently to donate what they do for both good causes and cheap party hosts. After that moment I had to make some decisions about how I would decide when to play for free, and when to decline. This Coffee Break is the rest of the story. Having a creative career means being paid fairly for the talents you provide. Anything less than that qualifies as a generous hobby. There is still room for generosity, but there is a line that is crossed when that generosity is taken for granted and then expected. That's exploitation and it doesn't feel good. If you're asking creative people to share their talents, they need to be compensated.  #creativecareers #beansandhotdogs #exposurel

You Should Be Teaching!

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I come from a long line of teachers. My Grandmother started teaching school not long after she was in high school. She didn't finish her bachelor's degree until she was in her late 40s, but she could get a certificate to teach elementary grades in rural schools in Wyoming just by passing a test. My dad, who would have been 84 today, was also a teacher, and I've had aunts, uncles, and cousins who have taught as well. So it's not a surprise to me that teaching is something I've done a lot of, too. I started making online courses in 2007 and have lately been helping a growing number of people take their knowledge and experience into this medium that continues to grow. I'm also usually working on a course of my own behind the scenes. In this Coffee Break, I tell some stories about how I've seen people using courses in creative business and service applications that may have potential for you.  I've used Teachable for my online course hosting for several year

How Not to Network

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In marketing, we want to be remembered, but we probably want to make sure we're remembered for the right kinds of things. Like how we treat other people, and how we make our point and do the things we need to do, but not at the expense of another person's value and dignity. We've all heard about the importance of making a good first impression. So when we go into a new group of people for the first time, how do we want people to see and remember us? Do you want to be remembered as a person with great ideas and insights, or do you want to be experienced as a self-centered, arrogant hidden body part? It's up to you. I've had the privilege to meet some exceptional people over the past couple of years through online activities that may have not happened without a pandemic-fueled quarantine to thank. But I wouldn't have gotten to know this if I'd have come into these situations with a rigid agenda to pitch and sell and take over. These relationships are paying of

Light-Filled Business and Leadership - Kc Rossi

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  ▼Watch and Listen Below!▼ Entrepreneurs often compartmentalize the different parts of their lives in ways that become unmanageable and that lead to higher stress, burnout, and in the extreme, health crises. Kc Rossi found herself in the midst of such an experience after building a highly successful company but with the high cost of "being on all the time." This unsustainable lifestyle led to an acute health condition that required an immediate and thorough change. As Kc found her way into healthier ways of living and doing business, she also found that there were opportunities being presented to her to work with other successful women facing similar challenges to those she had faced. She is now a highly successful business and leadership coach with a mission to unite and amplify empowered women. In addition to coaching, Kc is also the host of Women Developing Brilliance® - The Spirit of Business With Kc Rossi podcast, and she's a monthly executive contributor to Brainz

Ignore, Block, Delete.

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17 cold pitches in my LinkedIn DMs this morning.  You don't know enough about me. You aren't giving me a good reason. So, no I don't want to "jump on a call" with you. I don't have time or interest to jump right now.  Ignore, Delete, Block. There are ten thousand other ways to generate leads for your business than cold pitching social media messages. Want to find some that will work better for you?  I really can help. https://franklintaggart.com   #leadgen #coldpitching #nothankyou

Time to Raise Your Prices?

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Prices on almost everything are going up. Interest rates are being increased. We're paying more for gas, groceries, home, and travel with each passing day. Are your prices keeping up? Small businesses like ours have to stay sustainable and that means when costs rise, our prices need to adapt. But many are reluctant, thinking that raising prices will turn customers away. And just how do you figure out what to charge. I have a few ideas. #inflation #economy #bitcoincrash

Make, Show, Sell, Repeat.

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After last night's questions about the future of creative work, I rebound with the same idea I always come back to - the activities of business fall into three necessary categories that have to be repeatable and able to be systematized. Make it, show it, sell it is the business plan. Each one of those areas is affected by changes in technology and market trends. This Coffee Break brings it all back home to make, show, sell. #marketingcreativework #businessforcreatives #peoplestillbuyart

Creative Middle Class Where Art Thou?

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In 1989 I worked for a sheet music distributor. I remember being very excited at the time as new equipment was being introduced that would allow us to have our customers call a toll-free number and listen to 15-second samples of new music we were offering and then select a digit at the end of the call where I or one of my sales comrades would take their order. Up until then, we had been making cassette tapes and sending them by mail with one free sample of every new piece of music, then following up with sales calls. The new system was making all of that easier and would easily pay for itself after just a few months of use. The price tag? $25,000. Only a few years later, that system would be made obsolete by new modems that allowed computers to connect with each other through the World Wide Web and the whole process could be automated, including the order taking. The sales force that was once required was no longer necessary. Two customer service reps divided the country between them a

Mother's Day

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  Sending love and admiration to Betsy Taggart and Monica Corrado this Mother's Day, and remembering Monica's mom, Marilyn. I'm surrounded by courageous role models who were determined to find their own path and be true to themselves. They've been through extreme difficulties and have become positive movers and shakers in their communities. #gratefulformom #gratefulformysweetie #honoringthosewhonurture

When Creativity Feels Too Risky

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  Self-sabotage comes in a variety of packages. We creative people can find ten thousand ways to avoid letting people know what we've made. Why? In this Coffee Break, Franklin Taggart delves into his own mystery around this question.  The intent and the inspiration came from a pure place. They weren't self-serving or vain in nature. They were made to enhance the lives of others. Why does this feel so risky? Ego is a slippery critter for something that is no more than a construct of the mind. Finding ways to release our resistance seems to be the step after we finish something we've invested with heart and soul. I've been going through it, too. And so have several other coaches, consultants, and helping professionals I know. The courage isn't in the creating, it's in the revealing. That's when we feel most vulnerable. But what is really at stake? #egotrips #innerchildactingup #helloresistance

Creative Marketing Projects - Monique Renee Eckes

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▼ Watch and Listen Below!! ▼ Most photography studios use traditional marketing methods to book one session at a time. Their communication channels are crowded with competition, and they often have to resort to deep discounting to land new clients. Pro Pet Photog's Monique Renee Eckes took a class that challenged that way of thinking and doing business. In that class, she was inspired to publish a locally-focused book about places people take their dogs in Northern Colorado, and NoCo for Doggos was born. In this episode, Monique shares the story of how this idea developed and how it led to filling 34 photo sessions in just a few days. When she needed to promote her professional videography services to busy veterinary offices, she wondered how she would find and get in front of the people who were making decisions about marketing those services. They were difficult to find online, so channels like YouTube and even LinkedIn didn't prove to be effective. So Monique had a simple id

Mentors Minding the Gaps

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Attending a high school jazz band concert tonight with my son brought back memories of mentors who have been brought into my life at those times when I didn't know who I was or what I could contribute. They had a vision of me that I couldn't see for myself, and they held it for me until I could take it all on myself. I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't met each of them at the exact times that I did. My hope is to be that for others now. I'm amazed to find that even at this age, I'm still discovering new mentors for myself. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Thanks to my gap fillers. Gratitude doesn't seem to be enough. #mentorship #identitycrisis #weareeachothersangels

Use the Force

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May 4th, 2022 - Star Wars Day.  I missed the theatrical run and didn't see any of the Star Wars movies until Return of the Jedi, but I've been a fan of the Alliance ever since. Darth Vader genuinely scared me and I was driven mad when he revealed his relationship to Luke and Leia. In a testimonial a few years ago, a client of mine said this, "Franklin is like Yoda, only taller and less green." High compliment! So much so that it was the tagline on my business card for a few years. I believe humans have extraordinary capabilities wrapped up in things we take for granted and both use and misuse every day. In this Coffee Break I talk about these ordinary extraordinary powers and ask us all to start using them with more resolve and intent.  I'm excited to see where you all take this one. #starwars #yoda #maythefourth

Social Media Giveth and Social Media Taketh Away

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I've been online since 1995. I've seen all kinds of platforms come and go, from Usenet groups to AOL and Yahoo groups, to MySpace, to every iteration of Facebook and Twitter. I'm late to the Instagram and Pinterest game, and I was possessed by the recent success my friend Meridith Grundei has had on TikTok to just take a look. Social media platforms haven't been easy places to build and maintain good quality relationships for the most part. They change too frequently and they seem to benefit by staying more than moderately chaotic. I participate in a few groups where great conversations happen, but other than those, I'd rather spend time elsewhere. I think we need to build our communities so that they're social media proof. I'm not convinced that email is the answer but in the midst of all the commotion, there are pockets of great communities that would be good no matter where they showed up. The Interact Community is the one I mentioned in the Coffee Break.

Limp Elevator Pitches

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Friends don't let friends write weak elevator pitches. No matter how good they are, they can always be better.  In this Coffee Break, Franklin has some hints that will help your introductions have a more memorable and valuable impact and lead to a natural next step in your relationships with potential clients and customers. Not included in the video - don't use the word "help." There are ten thousand better and stronger and more sensory words to use than that. Try teach, lead, guide, instruct, coach, prod, poke, lasso... anything besides help. If you want to schedule an IdeaBurst session, get in touch through the contact page. This session is for creating a targeted message for a specific situation you have coming up, like a new networking group, a sales pitch, or any other setting where you need to leave a positive lasting impression. Talk soon... #elevatorpitch #ditchthepitch #getintheirheads

What Do You Really Need?

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  When I inquire more deeply into the question of what I need, I find that the list of things I truly need is relatively small. The list of things I've convinced myself I need is longer than my life will allow. And there are things I say I need, but they're just means of getting something I really need. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs identified a few layers of gradually more sophisticated needs, but beyond the bottom layer of core physical survival, I wonder if each successive layer might not actually be necessary. Advertisers and marketers constantly play these survival needs, convincing us that our face cream is the difference between being accepted or shunned by our social group. If we look more deeply at our social needs, it may be that what we believe we need is more of a player than what we actually need. See what happens when I make my video early on a Sunday before making my coffee... I'd like to help you start, finish, and launch the creative passion project you&#

How Long Until We Get There? (Get Your Creative Project Finished Now!)

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Do you have enough time to work on your dream creative project? What other commitments, responsibilities, and distractions keep you from getting started and finished?  For many of us, the frustration of working on our projects only sporadically keeps us from seeing them through. I've experienced that on many of my projects.  My first and only CD took over two years to finish, from when the first song was written until the release concert. During that time, I moved three times and changed jobs twice, and a week before the release concert, 9/11 happened. How any of our projects ever get finished is miraculous, especially with the busyness of life.  My clients manage full-time jobs, parenting, mental health challenges, personal tragedies, and more. Finding time to create is not at the top of the list for many of them, but they are getting it done. People hire me to help them start, finish, and launch their creative passion projects. Together, we've created and launched blogs, podc

Your Own Best Company - Personal Development Highlights Season 1

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▼▼▼Watch and Listen Below!▼▼▼   Personal development insights from season 1 guests of Your Own Best Company - a podcast for people who love to work alone. Eli Hans https://outoftheblueshow.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/i-tM_AMKqMs Yifat Cohen https://yifatcohen.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/lVPPbP5neUY Regan Espinosa https://thevisitbox.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/w169MuW_b7A Larry Kaul https://revenueclimber.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/GivtiK9il_M Karen Diffey https://ksdcoach.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/w-Ytd3O7aWI Joanie Connell, PhD https://flexibleworksolutions.com Full episode 1: https://youtu.be/SwtPHHp60iE Full episode 2: https://youtu.be/fcsMMxcNCRM Joseph Bennett https://artbybennett.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/jBP8PK8o6ZU Heather Chavin https://gogodone.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/ElcRR5Yhfy8 Alan Heymann https://peacefuldirection.com Full episode: https://youtu.be/roAUEMQZZe0 LeAndra Foster https://linktr.ee/elanlyfe Full episode

When You Feel Like You're Not Doing Enough

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On days like today, when I've worked for hours and only have three small tasks finished from a much longer list, it's easy to feel like I'm not doing enough. Time for a different list. I made another list of all the things I've done and helped others do in 2022, and I was amazed to see that this year has been one of my most productive and prolific. I've stuck with my original commitments, and I'm seeing a lot of progress since vowing to consume less and produce more. And my clients are rockin' in all the best ways. New programs being launched, new websites being built, new marketing strategies being created, new blogs and podcasts being started, dreams old and new being taken seriously. I am delighted to see these things on one page. Would you be pleased or disappointed if you were to make the same kind of list? Are there gaps in what you've hoped to do and what you've actually done? I love the groups I'm a part of who help me stay accountable to

I'm Pretty Sure You Ruined Elon's Day

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Lots of friends publicly announced on Facebook today that they've deleted their Twitter accounts in response to the news that Elon Musk has raised the money to buy it. I seriously doubt that any of them have tweeted anything since 2009, but those accounts will surely be missed. I'd like to see what he does with it before I make a decision one way or another. I was more active on Twitter in my early days there, but have let it sit for the past several years, much as I have most social media. I don't like the way it makes me feel so I'm not interested in giving any more time to it than necessary. So I'm going to wait to ruin Elon's day until he gives me a good reason. I do think it's funny that these folks are making their bold announcements on Facebook. I'm willing to wait because the guy has been known to have some brilliant ideas. PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX - are the most well-known among many. He could really have an idea for something that will be wort

The Intrinsic Value of Creative Experience

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  Listening to my son practicing drums. He started only a couple of months ago, and he's finding a knack for it quickly. It's also the first instrument he's played that he hasn't lost interest in after only a few lessons. I'm enjoying watching this happen. Creative activities teach us more about ourselves, life, and the world we inhabit as much or more than any other pursuit. In the video, I compare creativity to sacraments, outward and visible manifestations of inward, invisible graces. For many of us, our creative time does carry a sense of sacredness that other times don't. While I wish every human would find this side of themselves, I know many don't, and I'm curious why this is. Is it a personality trait, a learned preference, a socialized lesson, a sad result of childhood ridicule and comparison? What keeps people from seeking and finding their own expressions? Finding mine when I did saved my life, and it's given me a center to return to every