Posts

Building a Creative Movement - Perry Knoppert

Image
When his research led to finding a link between multi-passionate people and neurodiversity, Perry Knoppert ultimately created a movement. The Octopus Movement is, in Perry's words, a gathering of curious misfits. Now numbering over 2500 members from 60 countries, The Octopus Movement is a celebration of people who don't fit neatly into well-defined social structures and who share the common characteristic of nonlinear thinking. In this episode of Your Own Best Company, Perry tells his story of losing everything as his first step to making anything possible. Our topics of conversation include: ** Finding a link between having multiple passions and neurodiversity. ** Making a place for nonlinear thinking in linear organizations. ** The common loneliness experienced by neurodivergent people. ** The challenges of nonlinear thinkers in employment and relationships. You can join the Octopus Movement and learn more about Perry at https://theoctopusmovement.org. Thanks for listening, s

Getting Time Back From The Family

Image
For many people ages 50 and up, we're adapting to a part of our life in which our normal roles are going through significant changes. Some of us are shifting into caretaking for aging parents while shifting away from the caretaking role we've had with our kids. The norms we've been used to, sometimes for decades, are undergoing great changes. Some of my friends and clients in this age group talk about the difficulty they have in regaining their own sense of priority and desire apart from those they've adopted as spouses, parents, co-parents, and partners. Some are challenged by setting aside the things they want to do in order to take on more responsibility for family members.  My own newfound time freedom since my son got his driver's license has been surprisingly daunting because I'm no longer spending 15-20 hours a week driving him places. And the default reaction of doing more work hasn't actually happened. I have a friend who talks about her difficulty

What Are You Being Paid For?

Image
In this video about pricing your freelance services, I challenge some of the things people think they're paying for. When it's all said and done, you're not being paid for your time, talent, knowledge, expertise, or qualifications. In truth, you're not being paid for your product or service. You're only being paid for one thing. Watch the video to find out what that one thing is, and join the conversation about how to price your work fairly so that you and your customer both feel great about the transaction. pricing #value #entrepreneurship 

Imagination and Emotion

Image
Thanks for the supportive notes and calls after my video the other day talking about seasonal depression. I was telling a friend that one of the things that is hard when I'm feeling that way is that other people see it as a problem to solve or something broken to fix. That usually just makes it feel worse. Those of you who were able to just let me have the time I needed and my own process to work it out are appreciated beyond words. I've mentioned these people before:  Sydney Banks - The blue-collar Scotsman who spontaneously awakened and realized the relationship between thought and emotional experience. Lester Levenson - The skeptical physicist who dove into relentless self-inquiry after his second heart attack at age 42, discovering a way to release emotional resistance and experience incredible freedom. Esther Hicks - A spiritual seeker and experimenter who became an open channel for another realm as she learned to meditate. I've learned something from each of them abou

Seasonal Depression and Me

Image
2022 ended for me with a round of depression. This isn't a new thing and is likely seasonal, but it is still depression, and it's not exactly comfortable. After finishing the year and achieving what I'd set out for, I was at a loss for what I wanted to do next. When desires seemed out of reach, I knew it was a visit from my well-known companion. Recognizing the signs, the first thing I did was allow myself a week off. I did a bare minimum of work-related activities and binge-watched a few shows on Netflix. One of the things I appreciate about great stories is that they give me a way to reconnect with humanity without having to have other humans in the room. I also read some good fiction and that accomplished much the same thing. I didn't resist the urge to sleep, and I added a little bit more physical activity into my routine via yoga and some extra walking time with the dog. Most importantly, I didn't try to force myself to feel anything different. I meditated and

2022 Recap

Image
I started 2022 with a stark realization about my content consumption habits and committed to reverse the ratio between content consumption and content production. My practical commitment to make this reversal was to release a new episode every day of the year on YouTube, my podcast, and my blog. I was able to keep this commitment, and I've seen some incredible results.  When Spotify released its Wrapped reports in November, I'd already released 300 episodes, created 4,200 minutes of content, and seen my streaming numbers increase by 999%. December numbers will show that I reached over 365 video/audio/blog releases, and my number of minutes will be over 5000. YouTube reports that I've generated 19,200 views on my channel, and my watch hours have increased to 582. These numbers are enough to encourage me to continue releasing new video, audio, and blog content with a high frequency, although I will be allowing myself a couple of days off each week from now on. I'm also ex

2022 Favorite Podcasts

Image
 I haven't listened to as many podcasts this year as last, but I wanted to mention those that I still automatically download. I keep my subscription list trimmed to about fifty shows, and right now it's at 49. Of those, there are less than ten that I listen to every episode. I'm sharing my top ten for 2022 according to the Podcast Addict app. 1. The Entrepreneur's Ecosystem Podcast - I made a recommendation video about this one  back in October. Dawn Petrin and Chanti Zak host in-depth interviews with coaches, copywriters, marketers, and other entrepreneurs. The enthusiasm and energy are high, and the guests are top-notch. 2. Copywriters Podcast - This has been one of my top picks for a few years. Copywriting coach David Garfinkel curates marketing communication advice from some of the best writers in the history of modern advertising. While I don't consider myself a great copywriter, I continue to learn things from this show that raise my game. 3. Akimbo: A Podca

2022 Book List

Image
While I made the commitment to consume less content in 2022, I managed to read more books this year than I've read any other year of my life. A couple of reasons for that are that a friend of mine and I started off the year with a discussion of It's Not Your Money, by Tosha Silver and then decided to keep the discussions and books going after we'd finished. Additionally, I've become an Audible true believer. I've read more fiction this year than ever and it's mostly because I can listen while driving, walking the dog, washing dishes, and in quiet moments with earbuds. The list is long this year. I'm sharing Amazon Associate links if you think you'd like to read any of these. Your clicks result in my commissions, so thanks! From Book Discussions It's Not Your Money, by Tosha Silver  This one was on my list last year, but I have a feeling I'll revisit it yearly. Great spiritual perspective on money and some simple practices to positively shift our

Guided By Intuition - Fran Gallaher

Image
Jody has risen to the highest levels of her company ladder, but she's frustrated that she's been getting passed over for promotion to the C-Suite. She's done the work, brought innovative ideas to the table, and has seniority over all but the CEO and COO of the company. It doesn't make sense that she is not being considered for advancement. This is a perfect situation in which to call Fran Gallaher. Fran is an intuitive guide who helps individuals and organizations supplement their data, logic, and rationale with information that may be discouraged or ignored due to being outside the realm of normal business convention. Fran teaches people how to access and understand their own inner senses as they navigate their way through making their best decisions for themselves and their organizations. She also offers professional intuitive services as a coach and consultant. In this episode, we explore topics like: ** Identifying and using your inner senses. ** Being willing to tr

Maybe Less Pressure Will Help?

Image
I made a video the other day asking the question, "What if you can't find your why?" I've had some strong reactions to that idea. There were a couple of people who treated it as a condition on par with a disease, quickly prescribing things to do to solve the problem. Why are we so adamant that life has to have a purpose? Where did we get the idea that it needs to mean something, and that we're less than if we don't land on that purpose that gives our life meaning? I wonder if my food will taste just as good if I don't have a bigger purpose than just living? I wonder if music will move me more if I know I'm here for a reason? I wonder if I can be okay without winning one of the coveted prizes? In the video I refer to a story about Buckminster Fuller that appears to be urban legend, but it remains insightful. Here's an article if you want to know more: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/arts/music/15ster.html (Sorry if there's a paywall). I wond

What if TikTok and Twitter Go Away?

Image
The town where I spent many growing up years had a thriving local mom-and-pop-based business economy when I was young. The big stores back then had outlets in our town, but most of the commerce that happened, took place between people who lived there and whose families owned the businesses. My Aunt Lue was one of them. Our family helped Aunt Lue run her hotel until after she died, then they sold it to make way for a new post office. WalMart moved into town in the 1990s and Main Street stores were boarded up. Even Sears, Montgomery Wards, and JC Penney are gone now. Every business has a lifespan and that includes social media platforms with all the rest. We've seen platforms like MySpace, Friendster, Google+, and others last a few years and then get replaced by something else that works better. The featured video on the end screen is the interview I did with Yifat Cohen where she tells the story of growing a community of 100,000 followers on Google+ only to have Google pull the plug

Where Did My Courses Go?

Image
This year I released a handful of new courses and have had over 300 people join my Teachable school. After some recent pricing and service changes announced by Teachable, I've made the difficult decision to leave their service and host my courses on another platform. I'm working on the last-minute details of that switch and will be sending out announcements to all my subscribers as soon as I have a place for you to access your courses. This trend of slashing services and increasing prices has been popular in the SaaS world this year. I've had four of my primary Saas subscriptions do a similar thing, and I'll be leaving all of them as soon as my current subscription period is over. As a business owner, I know that business models are evolving things, and they change as the market demands. But when you change your business model, don't piss off your existing customers. My business model is also changing, but I've made it a point to get feedback from the clients I&

Solopreneurship and the Spiritual Path

Image
Continuing the theme of spirituality and faith. - I want to reiterate the proposition that entrepreneurship is as viable a path for spiritual development as meditation, yoga, and religion.  I think we compartmentalize life more than we need to, and we ascribe sacredness to certain activities and secular to others when it seems closer to Peter Mayer's observation that everything is holy now. Check out his song  https://youtu.be/ua0PE1zulD4 Entrepreneurship and solitude work reveals our limits in tangible ways. We learn that there is a natural end to our abilities and that our imagination often isn't enough to do a job.  As we reach the end of our own capabilities, new ways of perceiving become possible. These new ways of perceiving expand our consciousness. This expanded consciousness enables us to see problems differently and imagine solutions that otherwise escape us. The most common experience of entrepreneurship that fosters spiritual development is the continually deepening

Let Love Be Born Tonight

Image
On this Christmas day, 2022, I remember a holiday season from many years ago when my faith had started to self-destruct. All the things I had believed in were called to question, and I was left without anything to stand on. At the time, there was a huge uproar in the community where I lived about displaying religious and spiritual symbols on city property, particularly a menorah for Hanukah and a manger for Christmas. I remember laughing myself to tears over this issue, realizing that I would have been marching in protest only a year or two before that. But at the time, I had no feeling about the issue at all. During those years of deconstruction, I still had a yearning. I yearned to know love and to know somehow that I and we aren't alone here. I expressed this desire in a song I wrote called Let It Be Born Tonight. I mentioned this song the other day in my video about hope. If you want to hear the song, I gave the song and rights to it to an organization called Hungry For Music.

The Night Before Christmas

Image
Sharing a handful of childhood Christmas Eve memories, and featuring one of them in greater detail. If you've never watched Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, my sisters and I are looking at you wondering how that could have happened. Go watch it and always remember that if you meet somebody who don't like soul food, they still got a soul. If you'd like to download a copy of the poem read here, click this link, and you should be able to download it. Feel free to share with anyone who you think will appreciate it. https://bit.ly/Franklin-Taggart-Night-Before-Christmas I wish you all warm and peaceful holidays. Be good to each other. #Christmas2022 #nightbeforechristmas #podcast 

Finding Fulfillment Through Work You Love - Laura Livingston

Image
A few years before her 18-year corporate HR career ended, Laura Livingston started allowing herself extended time off to travel. As her travels unfolded, she became aware of a growing need and vision for her life to undergo a radical change, but she wasn't exactly sure what that change needed to be. While still working full-time, she started to explore other interests and experiences to see if any of them would show themselves to be her next direction. When her career came to an end due to a layoff, she leapt into an ongoing process of self-discovery through serving others as a yoga instructor, then hypnotherapist, then gradually working into her current role as a mindset and transition coach. In this interview, we talk about the following: ** Leaving a job you love. ** Giving yourself time to explore. ** Growing comfortable with a new role and title. ** Feeling guilty about not feeling satisfied. ** and Navigating life changes through strategic pivoting. To learn more about Laura,

When You Can't Find Your "Why"

Image
I've had a few conversations recently centered on the difficulty of identifying one's purpose. And I'm reaching a point in my work where the next expression of my purpose isn't clear. I've had some well-meaning friends suggest the book Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. I've read this book a couple of times and I've found Sinek's insights helpful, but they aren't a universal answer to people who are struggling to identify what their why is. There are times in life when considering the future is difficult because we're putting something from our past to rest. The emotions that go along with that process of grieving and letting go are from the same pool as those we need to envision and embody a new future. Often, if a client or a friend is having a hard time finding a future vision or a sense of purpose in life, it's because their emotions aren't available for the task. If you are in this position, I assure you there is nothing wrong with you.

The Problem With Books About Creativity

Image
I'm reading two books on the topic of creativity, Creative Quest, by Questlove, and The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida. Creative Quest is a fairly recent release and it's a personal exploration of his creative process as a musician, a creator, a DJ, and other roles the Roots drummer plays. The Rise of the Creative Class has an updated second edition that was released within the past few years. It's more about the segment of our economy and labor market that is made up of creative people. Both books have opinions on definitions of creativity, and like all books on the subject, there is more to the mystery of the thing than words can capture or articulate. It brought to mind the difference between learning about creativity and actually having creative experiences. I have some friends who have taken university-level classes on creativity, and their own creative output didn't seem to benefit from the education. I haven't found the book on creativity yet

Does Paying Your Dues Ever Pay Off?

Image
We have a strange set of cultural norms around how creative people are supposed to become successful. The common tropes of the starving artist, suffering for your art, and paying your dues need to be made a thing of the past IMHO. In the folk music world that I've been a part of, I've seen people show up year after year, volunteering for menial jobs at festivals, playing free gigs and open mics, agreeing to play for "exposure", and finding a hundred other ways to chip away at their soul in exchange for opportunities that never arrive. And that is considered normal and acceptable. I believe in a different model. I stand by the idea that our creativity is meant to be a valuable service to other people, making a positive difference in the quality of their lives. And that it's worth paying for. The majority of creative people I work with have been struggling with these messages and their fallout for their entire careers. I know many musicians who have been paying dues

When Core Values Aren't Clear

Image
I was talking with a client yesterday about her feeling about not knowing what is next for her and her art business. She's had a few very successful years but has started to experience a slowing down and a level of dissatisfaction with the work she's doing now that suggests she's ready for a new level of development both as a creator and an entrepreneur. It's tempting at times like this to try to restructure what you're already doing, but I had another direction in mind. I asked her to tell me her core values. As she talked, it became clear to both of us that her values weren't clear to her and that the words she used to talk about her values were more used to impress other people than to represent who she really is. When we took the time to identify and articulate her values more clearly, she started to see that her dissatisfaction was coming from doing work that wasn't in alignment with her values. This gave us a much more solid starting place to work on e

Holiday Thoughts

Image
I made a TikTok video a while back about this, but I thought I'd add to it here. I had a client recently ask me what I believe as far as spirituality and religion are concerned. The best I can say is I really don't know. In my life, I've been a Mormon, Christian, skeptic, seeker, dabbler, and devotee. I've learned meditation, reflection, scripture, and yoga. I've read hundreds of teachings and listened to hours of lectures and silence. I've had a handful of breathtaking awe-inspiring experiences. And even with all this, I can't articulate what I believe into a cohesive set of words. Iris Dement probably captured it best in her song Let the Mystery Be. "But no one knows for certain, and so it's all the same to me. I think I'll just let the mystery be." I also honor that aspect of us that needs to know why - that seeks to make this life mean something. Science can't deliver answers to this, so we turn to spirituality and religion. And eve