Posts

Showing posts from June, 2022

Asking for Better Help

Image
I haven't always been good at asking for help, and it's still often the last resort because I like the feeling that goes with figuring things out for myself.  That all started to change back when I was going through the illness that sidelined my music career and opened my eyes to possibilities I otherwise wouldn't consider. Asking for help became more of a necessity during those years than a perceived luxury. You may have heard an adage in self-help and entrepreneurial circles that you are only as good as the five people you spend the most time with. I'm lucky that I live with two exceptional people and an extraordinarily talented dog, but just as lucky to have met a whole bunch of people in the past few years who are playing a higher-level game than I ever imagined I would play. What I've noticed is that the help I receive from these people gets the job done more effectively and quickly than the help I've received from peers in previous incarnations of my caree

Packaging Knowledge

Image
  Working on course videos for my wife this weekend was a great reminder of what a star I'm sharing life with. She's an exceptional teacher and deserves a much wider path of influence, even though she's already created a very positive name for herself. Visit https://simplybeingwell.com and see what I'm saying. I've also been working on a Quiz Quick Start mini-course to highlight Interact Quiz Maker software. I became a big fan of quizzes a couple of years ago and I've written a few for clients. Finally getting around to making some of my own. I was asking some people in the Interact Quiz Collective for some feedback and was marveling at the intelligence in that virtual space. And every one of them is finding a way to share what they know in creative and innovative ways. There's never been a better time for sharing knowledge of every kind. The sizes and shapes of all the potential packages are already mind-blowing, but we're still finding new ways to sha

What Is Your Audience Hungry For?

Image
A lost afternoon at a trout pond with a five-year-old is the inspiration for today's Coffee Break. If we're making money by selling anything, one of the questions we have to ask is whether there is a demand for it. I work with some artists who don't believe there is a demand for things like art, but I challenge them to find a building in the world that doesn't have some kind of creative something somewhere. That said, if what we offer isn't selling, we need to look at a couple of options. Are we fishing in the right pond? Have the fish already been fed? Do we just need to come back tomorrow? Is there anything you can do to stimulate the appetite? The conditions have to be right for the sale to go through. If the horse is full, the carrot won't work. Enough metaphors for now. Go make something and then sell it. #creativebusiness #selling #marketing 

How High Is Your Ticket

Image
Several recent conversations about concerns over inflation and the economy are the inspiration for today's Coffee Break. As purse strings tighten, and people start to curb their spending, what can small businesses, freelancers, and artists do to weather the changes? An interesting observation from past recessions suggests that people who cater to higher-income earners tend to not be as negatively affected by downward economic trends as those who serve middle and low-income consumers. Luxury buyers' lifestyles won't see much of a change. Those whose buying power is affected negatively and those whose jobs may be compromised will be a different story. If you depend on high volume sales of low to mid-priced goods and services, you may want to adopt a different strategy as the economy adjusts itself.  And if you've been exclusively selling higher-priced goods and services, adding options in the middle price ranges may also be of benefit.  In the past couple of recessions, I

The Ultimate Freedom - Jesse Panama

Image
▼ Watch and Listen Below! ▼ Finding a way to leave a situation that is unbearable can be terrifying. When Jesse Panama found himself in the middle of a job he dreaded and with no known prospects, he yearned for a blueprint that would help him find the life he wanted. That was the beginning of a search that has paid off in extraordinary ways. Jesse found his way into the world of digital marketing largely by accident.  In 1998 when he was starting his transition to entrepreneurial freedom, there were abundant opportunities but no guidance. Jesse took a class on entrepreneurship and worked his way from there into a lifestyle that has taken him to six continents and success that continues to expand and grow. In this interview with Your Own Best Company host, Franklin Taggart, Jesse talks about his discovery of the Japanese principle of Ikigai, how he helps people leverage their greatest strengths and passions, and finding viable markets where those traits can flourish. He is the author of

New Course! Elevator Pitches That Don't Suck!

Image
  I attend networking meetings every week and I'm amazed to see the change that takes place in people from when you're just having a normal conversation with them and the point where they are asked to introduce themselves to the group. I almost have to do a double-take because the charming person I was just talking with has turned into a robot who is rushing through a canned, formulaic phrase that ends up not giving anyone a reason to talk to them after the intros are done. I've had my share of elevator faux pas', too, mostly because I never realized just how important they were in the process of creating memories and delivering value. A few years ago, I attended a workshop at the SBDC where we were given an elevator pitch exercise that had a formula that I had to question. It was the most uninteresting way to present yourself that I had ever seen. About a month later I was putting together a workshop on marketing messages for the same SBDC and I created a short exercis

Devices and Defenses

Image
We've been having a lot of conversations in our house about how devices like smartphones and computers promise connection, but actually deliver isolation. Isn't that the case with anything we can become addicted to?  And then there are times when we place devices between ourselves and others in what seems to be a positive light, like as a way to take notes or to feel more engaged in a conversation, not realizing that all of our attention is on the screen in front of us instead of the person. No real connection is made and the good things we need to find in our relationships elude us. I get that for some of us, being fully present with another person doesn't feel completely safe. We do feel a need to set a boundary. In this Coffee Break, I ask us all (including myself) to consider that one of the contributing factors to our loneliness and isolation is that the boundaries never come down. I'd also like to propose that we start asking each other for device-free time. Close

Your Last Thread of Resistance

Image
A strange coincidence makes me wonder if I'm seeing a behavior pattern emerge. Seems like I'm seeing more than a few people reaching the end of a creative project but there's one last step that needs to be taken before they launch and that step is taking weeks and sometimes months to complete. Another strange coincidence is that these last steps often take only a few minutes to complete without difficulty. But we can convince ourselves of the impossibility of a task before we ever investigate what we need to do. My taxes are going to take weeks to figure out (real-time: around 45 minutes) It's going to take a couple of hours and a phone call to tech support to transfer that domain name (real-time: less than five minutes with no phone call) My book definitely needs to be proofread one last time before I can send it to be published (real story: it's already been proofread three times, the last two with no corrections) Our minds can create obstacles that aren't the

Launchpad Anxiety

Image
For some of us, there's a period of time as we near the completion and launch of something we've made when we become hyper-sensitive to how people react and respond. We all want to be liked and accepted. It's burned into our DNA to care on some level what other people think of us, even though some of us suggest we're not bothered. In this Coffee Break, Franklin Taggart shares some memories of times when he'd hoped for a different response than he got, and how he's come to view those circumstances as he's gotten more accustomed to these kinds of risks. In short, the people who love what you do are your people and they're the ones who deserve your attention. Want to find your niche? Make something and put it out into the world and see who responds. There's your avatar.  In entrepreneurship, it's common to start a business based on solving a problem. I art, it's a different ballgame. The problems artists solve are their own. Their process is one

At the End of a Full Day

Image
Today held a variety of fulfilling activities, good conversations, productive work, and a surprise visit from a friend. Ending a day like today with a satisfying kind of tired feels just right. I have two short rituals that I do most nights. Sometimes they're easy, other times not so much. Tonight, the only challenge is staying awake long enough to finish them. I share these rituals in today's Coffee Break.  Try this: Instead of making a list of things you're grateful for, just allow yourself to rest in the feeling of gratitude. Notice what gratitude feels like and allow that to be the last thing you feel as you go to sleep tonight. See you tomorrow...

Dads

Image
Reflections on Fathers Day about being a dad and having a dad and the strange mix of what that all means. Remembering Papa Dave today. He's been gone a few years, and I still see things I wish I could tell him. I see pictures on his hometown's Facebook page where I'm certain he would know the people and places, and I find other things I know he'd never seen but would have loved to. We had our pains, but I am lucky to have positive memories. On being a dad, I can only say that it is an experience that teaches me my limitations better than any other, and it also encourages me to try harder because that kid is worth it. I never knew what it was to be stretched and expanded the way that parenthood has been. And I see my friends' stories of dads who weren't there or whose dads left scars and grief in their wake. I'm sad that's the only reference they will have for that relationship. May all dads who see this rise to the challenge and give their kids the best

Digging Out

Image
After one whirlwind week followed by a four-day Summer cold, I have a whole bunch of stuff to do. At this point, I don't have the energy or time to be too precious about organizing and identifying priorities. It all matters, and It's all overdue. The method called for right now is to make a list and do the first thing, then another, then another. So that's what I'm doing. It's a blunt-force strategy driven by sheer willpower and a desire for everything to be done quickly. A 97-degree welcome to my world for all the folks who found me through the Boost Your Business Bundle. Wow, what a ride that has been. It's been the single most successful lead generation activity I've ever participated in. Big thanks to Jess Kotzer for the referral and Lynn Neville for the great event! Check out what Jess is doing at https://www.selfpubhub.org/ and stay tuned for an announcement about a new collaboration project she's getting ready to launch! Don't pay any attenti

Honoring Your Own Gifts - Bronwyn Jane

Image
Do you ever feel like your own gifts and talents aren't easily understood or accepted by other people? Does that make you feel like you have to keep them hidden or avoid using them? From a young age, Bronwyn Jane knew that she had abilities that other people didn't and that others often were judgmental and afraid of what she was able to do most naturally. She also lived in a religious and rural setting where extrasensory abilities were looked upon with much suspicion. In this episode of Your Own Best Company, Bronwyn shares her journey of self-discovery and acceptance that was helped along when she discovered that her young son shared some of his mother's gifts. She also shares tools and insights for highly sensitive people to be able to be in the world without being easily overwhelmed by it. To learn more about Bronwyn and her work, please visit https://bronwynjanemedium.com She is also active on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BronwynJaneMedium Thanks for your

Is It Difficult to Talk About Yourself?

Image
In the couple of days since I released the Elevator Pitches That Don't Suck Course, I've had a few messages from people who talked about the difficulty they experience knowing what to say when they're asked to talk about themselves, even in a simple introduction. I know how that feels. In this Coffee Break, I have some reflections and insights to share and a couple of suggestions that people in this situation may find helpful. Just know that it is a common problem, and even people who appear to talk about themselves easily sometimes have had a hard road getting to that point. I think the best news in relation to your elevator pitch is that you are probably the last thing you should be talking about when you're meeting new people. The story they're really interested in is theirs! This is the last time I'll be mentioning the Boost Your Business Bundle, and it's only available until tomorrow, so take this last chance and at least sign up for the free Standard B

Five Ways to Get to the Gig

Image
  If you've been trying to download your Boost Your Business Bundle goodies but haven't been able to get on the website, it's not a problem with your computer. The company that hosts the website had a major service interruption today. It should be corrected now, so get on there and start downloading to your heart's content! If you haven't registered for the Bundle yet, you still have a couple of days to do it, so go here and get it: https://dftaggart60--lynnneville.thrivecart.com/standard/6255bfb29ebd8/ I was going to talk about this topic today anyway, but the Bundle challenges drove it home. You always need to have five ways to get to the gig. What that means is that it's always a good idea to have a backup plan for delivering what you have to offer. If one way gets shut down, you always have another. #preparation #practice #failsafe

Why Care About Elevator Pitches?

Image
I feel lucky to have gotten this far and to have only a few regrets. I don't want to dwell on it, but there is a link between one of my top regrets and the course I just launched. If I could go back and do one thing differently, I would choose to have been more assertive in creating opportunities and inviting people to join me. I had a habit of waiting to be invited to join people, so I was left out of many things I would have loved to join. My passivity was the thing that led to my exclusion. What does that have to do with elevator pitches? As it turns out, quite a bit. If you listen to the way many people introduce themselves to a new group, you might be surprised to find their introductions are passive, and they don't offer an invitation for the next step in a relationship. In my own case, changing my elevator pitch to a more assertive style of creating an appealing invitation and telling people how to accept it was the turning point in my feelings of confidence and success

Reaching a Chapter's End

Image
With the full week that I just had, I ended up with a Summer cold that came on yesterday with a mission to get me to slow down. I did get all the things done that I needed, along with playing two gigs in 100-degree heat. Today I've been a slow mover, and I sound like the definition of congestion. Reflections today are taking me to see the end of my professional music trail. I'm getting close to making my retirement official and complete after gradually becoming less active for the past few years. My body knows when to say when and it's when. I still have music to write and record, but the cycle of booking, promoting, loading, driving, unloading, performing, loading, driving, unloading, and a four-day recovery is ending. I'm grateful to have had the opportunities that have come my way. Now on to other ways of creating. Thank the heavens creativity is infinite! I'm excited to have finished two of the three courses I've been working on. They're available for fr

A Habit is a System

Image
As we do routine tasks repeatedly, habits are formed, and the primary reason this happens is to give us the ability to accomplish routine tasks with minimal expenditure of energy.  We haven't had to think about how we get dressed since we were small, and thankfully, we don't have to relearn those things every day. The same can be said for our routines in creating and delivering our work. Can you imagine if you had to relearn the rudiments of your craft every time you started? In this Coffee Break, I have some thoughts from my own lessons about habits. Even some of the unhealthy habits I've had over the years had some kind of benefit to them. And the habits I'm forming now are becoming new systems that help me get things done more efficiently without getting burned out. I also realized that in the desire to form a new habit, the level of intention and commitment I need are significantly higher in the first weeks of adopting new action patterns than they are a few months

The Feeling of Finishing

Image
That's not the kind of finishing I'm talking about, Smutty. I enjoy seeing one of my most recent large projects completed. That feeling is valuable, even if I never sell one copy. I felt the same way when my first and only CD was finished. Two years after starting, there was an item in my hands with my name on the cover. That's the feeling I'm talking about. There's a sadness I feel when people have been given ideas and inspiration, but they put them aside. There are many reasons: don't have time, too much responsibility, mine won't be good enough, I'll never make any money at it - can you imagine the creative energy it takes to spin and maintain all those plates in our minds? I want everyone to experience the feeling of having an idea, committing to it, and making it into a thing. And then I want them to make a habit of it. This IS the spice of life! The Boost Your Business Bundle FREE Standard version will include my Elevator Pitches That Don't Suc

What's Your Soul Language? - Jennifer Urezzio

Image
Jennifer Urezzio knew she had some out-of-the-ordinary abilities when she was young, and she realized early that other people wondered how she "did that." As an employee at a high-level PR firm, she used her gifts while keeping them under the radar of her coworkers. In giving a talk at a conference about purpose, she began to explore the existence of different soul languages after a large number of people lined up to speak with her when she had finished. Over the next several years, she observed and learned, ultimately discovering over a hundred different soul languages that are bestowed in combinations of three to every human being. Let Jennifer tell you about her experience and discovery, and then take in some of the content she's created that gives more detail. When you're ready for a more personal understanding, start with a discovery call in which you'll learn the first of your three soul languages. Here's where to find Jennifer: https://www.soullanguage.

Heavy Metal Anthropology

Image
I'm scheduling this episode to release later than I made it. I'll be attending a Slipknot, Horror, and Cypress Hill concert with my son when it shows up online. I don't remember the last metal concert I went to, probably would have been the early 80s, and I honestly don't recall that I've been to a live rap show. This will be interesting. It triggered a memory of a concert my dad took me to in 1979 and how he showed me to approach situations where I might not be personally interested in the subject matter, but I could still gain important things from the experience. If you're in circumstances and with people who have different, even opposing, views and preferences, instead of avoiding them and casting judgments one way or the other, use the opportunity to learn about them. Just shift into neutral and observe. What's in this experience for them? What are the values and desires that are driving their experience? At the very least, enjoy their enjoyment. Tonigh

How Many Yeses Is Too Many?

Image
I did it again. I optimistically said yes to too many things, and now I've got a calendar full of responsibilities and three deadlines among them. In this Coffee Break, I reveal my age-old habit of only looking at the day and time that's being requested without looking at the adjoining days and times.  They're all good things, and I'll make it through, but I may need to take some time off after next week.  Some things I'm excited about... The Boost Your Business Bundle registration has opened, and my two contributions are nearing completion.  Elevator Pitches That Don't Suck is my long-awaited course that will help you craft memorable and compelling, offer-laden elevator pitches that will start to open doors for you immediately. That course is available as a part of the FREE Standard Bundle. The Premium Bundle, which you can still get for only $47, will include an updated version of one of my favorite workshops, Clients Everywhere! The last time I offered this w

Will You Make It If You Fake It?

Image
We've all heard the ancient secret advice to fake it until you make it. I first heard it about thirty years ago in a twelve-step meeting. I remember then thinking it was brilliant. Now, not so much. The creative process doesn't give wiggle room for fakery. It requires real time, dedication, attention, and effort. That can't be faked. In this Coffee Break, Franklin Taggart tells a story of a particular FITYMI moment that lives on in his short list of public embarrassments almost thirty years after it happened. Also in the chat: ** Courage first ** Confidence later ** commitment, learning, and mastering in between #creativity #creativeprocess #well-meaningbadadvice

The Steep Learning Curve

Image
I've had a couple of clients recently who've asked for help learning how to edit videos for their social media. It's their first time using this kind of software and the processes and language are completely new to them. It all sounds foreign. It called to mind the time when I decided to add digital recording to my skill set. I bought state-of-the-art equipment and joined a few online bulletin boards about home recording and started one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. In this Coffee Break, I tell the rest of the story. There is a good reason sometimes to pay people who already have a skill instead of learning it for yourself. I don't usually work that way because I want to know how things work, but I think about how some folks might better spend their time on more profitable activities while someone else handles the production. I also mention my belief that frustration is a good sign because it usually peaks right before the breakthrough happens. I'v

Face-Deep In Courses

Image
It's been an exciting year! At the beginning, I made two commitments. The first is to upload one new idea a day to my YouTube channel, a commitment I've kept. It's been fun to see the numbers grow! The second commitment was to devote more time to production than to consumption. I've stuck with that one, too and one culmination is about to be released. I've been working on finishing three online courses and all three will be done in the next two weeks. A big part of this accomplishment has been the awareness of production time and consumption time, but I've also streamlined my creative process. I go into more detail in the video, but I've let go of some of my old ways of doing things in favor of simplification and eliminating redundancy from the steps I take.  ** I use fewer tools ** I work with topics I'm already most familiar with ** I find ways to do large chunks of repetitive steps at the same time so I can get into flow ** I get more done, quickly so

Clearing Creative Blocks with Mundane Tasks

Image
I've been making a 2-page form this morning that has over 700 form fields, mostly checkboxes that have to be aligned and distributed evenly on the pages. It's work that requires attention to detail, but overall it's not something that requires my imagination. The good news for my imagination is that building the form gives it a chance to roam where it wants to (sorry, just watched a B-52s video). It occurred to me as I was working that the rare times when I have creative blocks, they're pretty easy to get through because I've learned the value of mundane tasks. Washing dishes, shaving, showering, driving, walking, exercising, cleaning...all these kinds of activities are great for my creative process because they relieve my mind and body from having to concentrate on what I'm making, doing, or solving and my imagination is available to work as it needs to. You'll hear more in the video. Keep in mind that I enjoy creating things like forms, assessments, worksh

Boost Your Business Bundle with Lynn Neville

Image
▼Watch and Listen Below!▼ If you are a digital business owner and you're looking for information, training, and support in growing your company, Lynne Neville has an offer you can't refuse. The Boost Your Business Bundle brings together 140 contributors with over 200 products, services, and events designed to help you reach more customers, deliver more value, and make more sales. And the price is too good to be true. The Standard Bundle is completely FREE. It includes over $4000 of products and services all just for the asking. If you want to upgrade to the Premium Bundle, act quickly when you register and it will be yours for less than half the $100 full price. Get it before June 12th and save $25. The value of the Premium Bundle is over $20,000. It's an exceptional deal that you'll want to get now. Registration is open now and the Bundles will be released on June 13th and will only be available until June 17th, so don't wait. And if you are looking for a great aff

Doing is the Best Teacher

Image
Thanks to Linda Eskridge of https://couturegifting.com for the wonderful coffee, mug, and treats! Made this morning's Coffee Break extra special. Thanks, Linda! https://couturegifting.com In the Break today, I am talking about my habit of buying books and courses and getting about halfway through with them then getting distracted or bored and moving on to other things while never actually doing anything the book or course was teaching. This extraordinarily long sentence describes a process that I used to put off taking creative risks, a habit that hasn't served me well. Other tidbits here are feeling vulnerable on video, impostor synplex comdrome, and the deep satisfaction coming from learning as I go.  The overarching message as always? Don't let learning delay your action. Use the courses and books as the important supports they are, but don't put off your creativity until you've "learned enough" to be ready. You'll never be ready! #procrastination

Coming Up June 13-17 - The 2022 Boost Your Business Bundle!

Image
I'm excited to be a contributor to the Boost Your Business Bundle this year!  The driving force behind this amazing collection of tools is Lynn Neville, a content and marketing strategist who helps coaches and mentors increase their online visibility and engagement with eye-catching and compelling media content. The Bundle this year comes in a couple of sizes. The Standard Bundle includes over 100 tools and offers, and get this, it's free! But in addition to the free standard bundle, there is an additional Premium Bundle with over $20,000 worth of offers for the low price of $47 if you upgrade when you register for the Standard Bundle, $75 if you upgrade before the release on June 13, and $100 if you upgrade between June 13-17. The only catch? And make sure to download the offers you want between June 13 and 24. Some of my favorite people are contributing offers to this event. Andrea Hubbert is an exceptional content creator who will be offering a storytelling course. Jess Kotz