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Showing posts from April, 2022

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

Shiny Impostor Object Syndrome Complex

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I've spent probably $100,000 on creative tools in my lifetime, and that's a conservative estimate. My output should be so much more based on the embarrassment of technical riches I possess. But Shiny Object Syndrome isn't the real problem here. That's a made-up name and another side of perfectionism that creative people deal with constantly. But I refuse to make it a pathology, it's just a feature of the process. We all have psychological protective behavior patterns. That's a part of being human. For some people, it shows up as high achievement; for others, it appears as ambivalence in our commitments, and for others, it's a compulsion to never move out of our safe zones. Impostor Complex is a similar condition. It's a way of protecting ourselves from exposure, embarrassment, and failure. And it's a part of almost every creative person's life that I've come across, including my own. Creative people learn to work in spite of these protective

Crowdfunding Isn't Begging

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A friend who is raising funds to produce a new album was accused by an acquaintance of begging for money. That didn't sit well. In this Coffee Break, I have some history to share, and I reveal what it's been like to watch my chosen profession and industry be disrupted and devalued to the point where I wonder if there will be any creative industry that will survive the digital age.  Those who think creative people should work for free will have a reckoning ahead. There will come a time when all that is available to them is the growing sea of mediocrity because those who would choose a creative profession have had to bypass that option for career paths that actually sustain them. If your life is being touched by a creative person's work, pay them. It's that simple. #paycreatives #crowdfunding #exposurekills

Getting Through the Monthly Freak-Out

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If you're questioning your path because you're feeling insecure or unstable, I'd like you to stop fighting the feelings and just let them be. They don't mean anything. You don't need to second-guess yourself. Feeling uncertain, insecure, worried, anxious, and other future-focused emotions is normal for people who are taking risks. And you are taking a risk here. Life itself is risky.  If you're anything like me, the emotional arrival is predictable - so much so that I call it the monthly visitor. I can predict when I will be feeling this way and could put it on my calendar. My main encouragement is to not be distracted by it. Your work is a source of stability and grounding, so that's where you need to focus. As you do, the emotions work themselves out, and if they don't, there's always a coach or a therapist you can call. Do the work. #insecurity #wrongpath #secondguessing

Your Own Best Company - Creativity Highlights from Season 1

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▼▼▼ Watch and Listen Below!▼▼▼ Some of the best creativity-themed moments from season one of Your Own Best Company with Franklin Taggart. Cheryl Benedict https://thewisdomoftransition.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/7typuPJFogI Jillian Lee Antinora https://jillianleeantinoramusic.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/k7o7-xLvfU4 Cynthia Trevino https://shemarketsmentor.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/g3Yg2JcKh9M Breanna Gunn https://breannagunn.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/1piz0i-zHHE Johanna Walker https://johannawalker.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/DUEOoIH8tLg Diana Needham https://businessbookpartners.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/Tn-e1vOZYkQ Sheryl Plouffe https://sherylplouffe.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/EL0GdX9OCRA Cindy Skalicky https://onpoint-communications.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/KANyMLgZt7U Meridith Grundei https://grundeicoaching.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/o1rfkZhYRIA Dre Beltrami https://thesolopreneursociety.com Full Episode: h

Does Your New Microphone Sound Bad?

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A lot of people are investing in new microphones as videos and podcasts become more popular. Many of these people are excited to open the box and plug in the USB, but the microphone's performance is less than stellar when they do.  Like the emperor with the new clothes, everyone tells them it sounds great, but tin cans with a string would sound better than the laptop mic they've been using. When they hear the recordings of their online conversations, they realize their new mic isn't quite as stellar as they'd hoped. Most of the time, the mic isn't the problem. It's just being misused. High-quality microphones are very sensitive, and they are designed to be used with some pretty strict parameters. They have a sweet spot, and if you miss it, they suck. If you've gotten a new microphone lately and want to make sure it's set up for optimal sound quality, take a few minutes and schedule a free microphone placement session with me. We'll get on Zoom with o

100th Coffee Break and Ramblin' About Preferences

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The Coffee Breaks are adding up! Today is number 100. Still holding true to my goal of posting a new video every day. I'm a huge fan of Interact quizzes as leading-edge marketing tools, and the people who work there are gems. Go try Interact now and see why I've decided to be one of their affiliates: https://interact.grsm.io/jboh69i54xwj   One of their recently added quiz templates asks, "What Does Your Coffee Say About You?"  I still don't know for sure what my coffee's opinion of me is and why it matters, but we all have preferences that drive our decisions. I like my Thai food spicy, whole my other family members like it mild. I love some music, while I'm meh about other music.  A big part of understanding other people is observing their preferences. And it's also important to honor your own. Listen to this 100th Virtual Coffee Break episode to hear more and thanks always for spending your time and attention with me. #100episodes #podcast #letshavec

Deciding What Not To Do

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How do you decide what not to do? Every business owner I know has a huge list of possible ways to spend their time and focus, and they somehow choose those items from the list that are a priority. But the other things on the list matter, too.  There are things I choose not to do as a podcast host that allow my process to work the way I need it to. The choice I make to communicate with guests directly instead of trying to communicate with them through representatives is one that I've had to adopt. I get too many inquiries about guests from agents and publicists - more than I can adequately process.  I do my own producing, including editing. I've gotten pretty good at it over the years and I know what I want. It's easier to just get it done. In making this choice, I'm setting aside other things I could be doing. I enjoy doing my own marketing, too, along with course creation, content creation, and the main attraction - working with my clients.  The main way I've learn

The Value of Creative Work

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My friend, Dre Beltrami at https://thesolopreneursociety.com is ready to release a new offer later this week. I reviewed it today, and my jaw dropped to the floor. Dre is reliably generous and knows how to put a lot of value into any package, but this will be over the top. The package that she'll be giving away could be priced at hundreds of dollars, yet she is giving it away in exchange for an email address. I wondered about the ever-changing line between what we give away and what we charge for. How can we as creators continue to put our time, talent, and energy into making valuable things for people and keep giving them away? I don't have answers here, but I do feel the concern of many who wonder how we will ever make a sustainable living if we continue to give away what we make. I'm not dissing Dre here. I think she's a genius, and I have elected myself her fan club president. And her strategy here does lead to a paying offer of her services for a day. I became awa

Faith, Presence, and Mystery

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  Easter morning reflections... Many people are celebrating a variety of overlapping holidays this weekend. Ramadan, Passover, Easter, and a few others all coincide. Remembering family dinners at the Sims Hotel in Evanston, Wyoming. The kids' table, spiral ham, prime rib, and scalloped potatoes.  Easter required new church clothes, starchy, stiff, and too clean. The candy was all gone by noon, and the hard-boiled eggs were converted to deviled eggs in time for dinner. The desire for faith doesn't immediately lead to a place of peace and harmony. Instead, everything else I rely on - health, wealth, relationships - all removed. Then what? Listen to hear more. Thanks for being here. #Easter2022 #faithstory #gratitude

Quiet Callings

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Stories about a couple of people who showed up in quiet but meaningful ways and made a memorable difference. Is there something you love to create or nurture that could be shared with other people as a gift without strings? Is there a way to show up to serve that no one else may notice, but it's a perfect spot for you to contribute? Thanks for spending your time and attention with me. #quietcallings #aplaceforall #yourgiftsmatter

Your Own Best Company - Business Highlights from Season 1

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A recap of some of the best business moments from the first season of Your Own Best Company, featuring: Cat Stancik https://ActionIncubator.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/BIYdUP2ZNlw Danielle Lammon https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielleshannonagency/ Full Episode: https://youtu.be/H5oP6KYv5NI Craig Cannings https://FreelanceU.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/mEZ9clV30os Steven Hoffman https://FoundersSpace.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/i99WN7zTpUo Tracey Burnett https://TraceyBurnett.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/tyfnV-V9bRQ Jason Van Orden https://JasonVanOrden.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/uqnqBrxTjHY Dr. Jürgen Strauss https://InnovaBiz.com.au Full Episode: https://youtu.be/Qz9t7wQxzVc Brittney Murphy https://OneThingMarketing.net Full Episode: https://youtu.be/gOAlLkx3bcc Alison Proffit https://GetSoulfulSuccess.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/NGOE2NuaCTo Adil Amarsi https://GreatestCopywriterAlive.com Full Episode: https://youtu.be/HJbw8N67p04 Sophie Zollman

Behind the Scenes Marketing

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If you would rather be stung by bees than give a talk or presentation, this one is for you. If you would rather wash dishes than go to networking meetings, this one is for you. If you make better connections working shoulder to shoulder with other people than through social media, this one is definitely for you. In this Coffee Break, I share one of my favorite marketing strategies - Behind the Scenes Marketing. It's easy to understand. Show up and offer to help other people's events shine. Volunteer for community organizations and events. Be on the planning team for the Rotary literacy project fundraiser. Sing in the choir at church. Bring baked beans and rice to the coven potluck. One of the most common complaints from business owners is the people they need to reach aren't accessible. No, they really are, but just not at the networking meeting. They do show up in lots of other places. Long and interesting conversations can be had when you show up in places to help and ser

How Do You Want to Spend Your Time?

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Your imagination pays much closer attention to desire than to reason. It's not interested in what is reasonable or logical. It feeds on fancy. Some of the people I work with are coming out of traumatic work situations where they've stayed too long and have come away with a lot of fear about making the wrong decisions again. I have one question: How do you want to spend your time? This question gets to the heart of what's important to someone. It helps them immediately clarify what option is in line with their desires, which most often directly reflects their values. If you don't have a clear answer to this question, give yourself permission and room to explore. And you may need to do some healing before you're ready to move on. Maybe go to school or try some new skills on for size. If you need money, get a job. Don't kill your dreams with the pressure to make money. If you struggle with this question, consider scheduling a coaching session. #priorities #vocation

3 Questions Before You Create

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I rarely experience creative blocks like writer's block and similar things. I'm pretty sure part of the reason why is I don't wait for inspiration. The three questions I talk about in today's Coffee Break are a simple but effective framework to help me take the first steps in my creative process.  Write these down and keep them close: Who is it for? What difference will it make? Where will it lead? If you lack ideas, start with these questions. If I'm staring at a blank page, waiting for the muse to whack me in the head, I've found that an easy way to get started is to think about a specific person. It helps if I've had recent contact with them and I know something they're going through.  Holding that person in my awareness gives me ideas and leads to the next question - what difference would I like to make for them? This helps me know what to create. And to then take the journey into the future with the last question, helps me to understand what outcome

Foiled by Progress

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Had the calendar cleared for a full production day with an open microphone and at least seven hours uninterrupted. The utility company had a different plan :| This is why I've always been a night owl. There are too many distractions during daylight hours. So it looks like I might be up late. Thankfully, the crew took a lunch break, giving me enough time to record this Coffee Break. I'm tired of pivoting on every level. #interrupted #disrupted #cranky

Know, Like, and Trust Goes Both Ways

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Following on yesterday's observation about getting married on the first DM, this Coffee Break encourages us all to remember that not only do our customers need to know, like, and trust us; we also need to know, like, and trust them. If your marketing is really based on relationships, it can't be all about you. I find way too many examples of marketing based on inaccurate assumptions rather than first-hand knowledge, and I'd like to change that. It takes less time to form an authentic connection with a person than it takes to recover from the pushback you get when you manipulate them. They'll remember the true connections favorably for years, but tactics without connection will be remembered unfavorably for a lot longer. And please trust your customers to be able to make their own decisions. How are you finding ways to know, like, and trust your clients? #marketing #humanconnection #h2hmarketing

Creating a Logo with Canva

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I usually recommend hiring a professional designer for logo and brand design. It's worth the expense and will save you a lot of trial and error. That said, if you don't have the money to pay for a professional and you aren't getting what you want on Fiverr, Canva.com has thousands of logo design ideas and templates that will allow you to create your own. This tutorial shows you the basics of creating a simple logo with a transparent background that you can create today. I'm a big fan of the Canva Pro subscription program and recommend it to people nearly every day. #canva #logodesign #easydesigntips

This DM is Going Too Fast for Me

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So you paid for the LinkedIn strategy course that told you that you should be sending direct messages (DMs) to potential leads, and you've paid extra for the search bots, LinkedIn Sales Manager, and the one-on-one coaching session. Now you're diligently sending your copied and pasted initial contact to the people who unwittingly accepted your connection request, and the first thing you do is make an offer for a package. Get the hell off my lawn! There are so many other ways to initiate contact with a potential client that don't piss them off and don't end up with them blocking you. In this Coffee Break, I have a few suggestions. At a minimum, look at my profile before you send me a message; send a uniquely written note that shows me you've found something about me besides the fact I came up in your initial search that suggests I might be interested in what you have to sell and don't push. I'm a busy guy with systems that work. Don't assume anything until

Your Own Best Company First Season Wrap Up

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Your Own Best Company has featured over 40 interviews since May 2021, and it's time for some reflections and some highlights. Add to that the 90 Virtual Coffee Break shows and you've got a lot to sort through. Join Franklin for some memories, some encouragement, and some gratitude as he looks back on the first year of Your Own Best Company.

Repackaging Your Greatest Skills

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Rethinking and repurposing how we package and present our skills for new opportunities is on my mind tonight. Why couldn't a trained journalist bring her interviewing skills into a role where she is interviewing customers of a business for well-articulated testimonials? What if the person who has been waiting tables for ten years repackaged his ability to remember specific people, their requests, needs, and desires and translated that ability into meeting facilitation? What if the music producer who can take apart a $5000 microphone and put it back together again in working order could learn her way around wiring homes for electricity? In yesterday's video, I was wondering about how solopreneurs and freelancers can break free of the idea that their day jobs and side hustles need to be minimal and low-wage. In today's video, I ask the following question in the sequence. What do you already know that you can get paid really well for? #careerdirection #freelancecareers #making

Make a Brand Kit for Canva Pro

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Canva Pro offers a bunch of amazing features not available in the free version. One that I use most frequently is the Brand Kit. This allows me to pre-select brand colors and fonts that then show up on the top of my options lists for both fonts and colors. Now I don't have to go looking for them or enter them in a search bar every time I need them, and for colors, I don't have to guess or go looking for hex codes. In this short tutorial, I show you how to create a brand kit, starting with uploading an image from which Canva can find my brand colors, and then I can add colors to the palette as well as select Heading, Subheading, and Body text fonts. #canvatutorial #branding #branddesign 

Day Jobs and Side Hustles

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An important conversation with a friend today who's been giving his business 1000 percent and finds himself needing some steady income. This isn't an uncommon experience for solopreneurs, freelancers, and artistic creatives. Many of us find times in our lives when we need to just line up a steady income to cover our basic needs until our businesses can get to the point where they are doing that for us consistently. I don't encourage people to just take any kind of day job. It's tempting to take whatever we can get, working an hourly gig for a low wage. This can be dangerous for a business owner for several reasons. Low-wage work requires you to work more hours and takes you away from your first work priority, your own business. I know a lot of people who have done this and have not only experienced burnout, they've lacked the energy and enthusiasm that their own business requires after they've spent their best hours in the day job. I share a few thoughts and exe

Because I Said I Would

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It was a five-client day with a sideways wind-blown trip to the airport and back, and I'm feeling it. I even forgot to bring my coffee to this Coffee Break.  For much of my life, tiredness has been a good reason not to follow through. So has depression. So has sadness. So has every other reason.  My commitment to making one video a day has been mostly to see for myself that I can actually follow through on a commitment.  I'm making this video tonight because I said I would. If you want to check out the two Steven Pressfield books I mentioned, here are a couple of Associate links to follow to get them. They are worth reading more than once. The War of Art: https://amzn.to/36RCHVL Do the Work: https://amzn.to/3KrcwU4 I love and recommend both of these books to anyone who wants to make their creative work, their life's work. #stevenpressfield #commitment #followthrough

Have You Read Duct Tape Marketing?

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   Duct Tape Marketing is the first resource I recommend to new business owners who are just getting started. I've read it a dozen times and I learn new things every time through. Strategy Before Tactics!

Ode to a Blog

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I'm creating a course on starting a blog. No, I'm not twenty years too late. Blogs are enjoying a comeback and long form writing is gaining traction in places like Substack, Medium, and some of the old standby collections like Elephant Journal and Huffington Post.  I'm creating the course because I believe blogging is the best way to form and nurture client relationships at a very low cost. While some businesses are trying their hand at TikTok and doing very well there, I'm still a proponent of having a well-written blog as a cornerstone asset for your business website. Blogging also offers unlimited flexibility in possible formats and content combinations. I love that I can have text, images, videos, and audios all in the same place so that people can experience what I offer in the ways they like most. I also like the creative challenges of making multi-media experiences available on my website, We don't ever have to run out of new ways to deliver valuable and memo

Remembering Marilyn, My Mother-in-Law

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  Marilyn Corrado RIP

Low Energy Days and Wasting Time

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  I used to feel guilty about not being productive all the time. But we're not designed for full-time productivity. There is also a cultural tsk tsk about "wasting time" that I want to challenge. As I've gotten older and faced more physical and energetic challenges, I've realized that my downtime is equally crucial to my creative process: time spent writing, speaking, making music, doing these videos, or any other activity I might label as productive. My imagination is most available and receptive when I'm not actively making something happen. I'm amazed at how easily ideas come to me when I'm otherwise idle. Those three ideas I had this morning while driving home from the airport are good examples. They would have been less likely to arrive had I spent my time productively. Today, my other realization was how I tend to see my low-energy days as useless when they're often my most productive in unexpected ways. I've started the habit of finding

Wealthy Women Don't Pinch Pennies - LeAndra Foster

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  ▼▼▼Watch or Listen Below!▼▼▼ LeAndra Foster encourages women to take vows of wealth to replace their past habits of scarcity and poverty. It starts with educating themselves about money, then working out the relationships they have with money, and leads to allowing themselves to be wealthy. You'll hear her story of realizing her wealth had surpassed seven figures but still living like the girl from the farm community where she grew up who didn't want to lose her sense of belonging. You'll also hear about her coaching programs - Double Your Profits in 30 Days and The Practical Magical Millionaire, which will be starting very soon. To learn more about LeAndra and her upcoming programs, visit https://linktr.ee/elanlyfe To attend her virtual presentation of the Wealthy Women Don't Pinch Pennies talk on April 11th, register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wealthy-women-dont-pinch-pennies-tickets-296854889967 #wealthywomen #financialeducation #newrelationshipwithmoney

Franklin on the InnovaBuzz Podcast!

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I recently had a wonderful conversation with Jürgen Strauss of InnovaBiz that wandered through a winding path of some of my favorite topics. Jürgen is a delightful interviewer who does his research thoroughly and brings some of his guests' best ideas and insights to light. I was honored to be on this show! You can hear the whole episode on the InnovaBiz website:  https://innovabiz.com.au/podcast/franklin-taggart-innovabuzz-507/ , or you can listen on your favorite podcast platform. This slideshow features some highlights: