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Showing posts from November, 2022

Podcast Recs on a Chaotic Day

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A morning phone call scuttles all but one of my plans today. I had a good time this morning on the Are You Waiting for Permission Pod-a-Thon with Meridith Grundei and Joseph Bennett. They made it the full twelve hours. It's the longest podcast episode I've ever been a part of, but I on;y had to show up for a small part of it. While I was on the podcast, my wife got a call about a family emergency that required an unanticipated trip to the Denver airport and back for me. My plans to finish editing and release the latest Your Own Best Company episode with Cat Stancik are going to wait another day. You will definitely want to hear that one. On my way back from the airport, I listened to three of my favorite podcasters. I thought I'd share my recommendation with you here. She Built This with Emily Aborn is a great show featuring interviews with women who have successfully built businesses and career paths they are loving. Emily is a wonderful interviewer, and her guests are top

The Deep Work Discussion - Erica Holthausen and Audrey Holst

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The team is back together for a deep dive into the topic of deep work. The trigger for this conversation is this article Audrey found citing a study that suggested quiet quitting is directly related to the difficulty people have getting their work done. https://www.fastcompany.com/90801721/this-one-overlooked-factor-is-contributing-more-to-burnout-than-any-other This special Thanksgiving Day edition of Your Own Best Company brings Audrey Holst and Erica Holthausen back together around the virtual roundtable to explore our insights, understanding, and experience of the practice of deep work. Here are some of our stopping points: ** Finding your deep work rhythm. ** Booking time with yourself. ** Learning your own work patterns. ** The necessity of deep rest for the purpose of deep work. ** Making space for car problems and hurricanes. and more! Want to find Erica? https://catchlinecommunications.com Audrey? https://fortitudeandflow.com And we're all on LinkedIn, too. Happy Thanksgiv

Pod-a-Thons and Pivots

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Black Friday is one of the worst ideas ever to flow from the mind of humanity. Fill large buildings to capacity with humans who are experiencing various levels of FOMO, scarcity, the urgency of impending holidays, etc. Then offer extreme deals on limited supplies and watch them fight about it. And if you really want to make it happen, start a day early on a holiday that everyone used to take off to be with family or volunteer at the mission. This just doesn't seem like a good idea. And yet, Americans have begun to treat it with more reverence and anticipation than Christmas and Easter and all the lesser holy days. Black Friday has become, for me, a good excuse to stay home and do fun things. Write songs, watch movies with the family, and purposely avoid spending any money anywhere. This year will be different. My friends Joseph Bennett and Meridith Grundei are offering a more colorful Friday experience with their first-ever Pod-a-Thon. From 10 AM-10 PM EST on Friday, Meridith and J

All the Reasons You Can

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I can tell when I'm in a self-protecting frame of mind when my first reaction to ideas and opportunities is the list of reasons why I can't. I'm too old, it's too expensive, I can't afford it, it'll never work, etc. ad nauseum. I'm not one of the people who suggest that ego is a bad thing. It's just a self-preservation mechanism that we all have. Its size is commensurate to the wounding it's trying to heal or prevent. Not bad. But we're creatures designed for growth and expansion, so there's a natural tension between the life force urging us into a greater expression of ourselves and the coping mechanism that's developed to keep us from harm and total abandonment. This tension has to be resolved in times when we're considering bigger options for ourselves than we've allowed ourselves to have before. I've said before I'm a fan of lists. To people who have an automatic impulse to find reasons why they can't I prescribe m

Grief and Gratitude

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I know many people who have experienced significant losses this year. Jobs ending, loved ones dying, moving to new locations, leaving old situations behind. Sometimes when we are going through the grieving process, it's hard to access a sense of gratitude. In one conversation this morning, I was reminded of an observation I've made in my own experiences of grief that gratitude may be one of the stages of grieving we need to consider.  In her groundbreaking research, Dr. Kubler Ross identified several emotional stages of grief - shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance- and saw that these emotional adjustments are common to humans adapting to change. In her case, she was studying grief associated with death, but we've come to understand that grieving occurs with most transitional experiences. If you're struggling to access your own sense of gratitude, try taking some time to reflect on what you miss about the person, place, or thing now gone. Such reflection may

One Question Before We Start Planning

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Do you want your plan to determine your lifestyle or your lifestyle to determine your plan? Much of my work is focused on strategy and planning for career direction, business and marketing decisions, and some other transitional times. People often want to dive into the safety and structure that planning provides before they can answer a more basic question. How do you want to spend your time? Michael Hyatt has a great template to help people imagine their perfect week. I like to start with a starter timeframe of a day. What does your best day look like? As people work out these details, we're given a context and framework within which their best plans can take shape. Often, if people jump into the planning before considering their lifestyle desires, they set themselves up for a more challenging experience with a higher likelihood of failure. I've found that imagining how you want your days to unfold is an exercise that skips the challenge and failure. Since this is the end of t

Mindset, Worldview, and Experience

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Fill in the blank; Life is happening __________ me. Changing one word in that blank can change our entire experience. At various times in my life I've felt like life was happening to me, though me, for me, and in me. In each one of those times, I had wildly different worldviews accompanied by wildly different experiences.  The movement from victimhood to freedom was one of several stages in which my mindset shifted, usually after a long period of struggle, difficulty, and surrender. These shifts have been on my mind recently as several clients have been in the process of releasing old patterns and fixations. #mindset #worldview #lifeexperience 

Being OK With Not Knowing What's Next - Teresa Funke

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In our last visit with author and publisher Teresa Funke, we heard about her life and pandemic imposed sabbatical and how she knew her path was changing, but she wasn't sure how. In this episode, we find that she's reached a new place with very few conclusions but a new appreciation for not knowing yet what's ahead and being OK with it. Many creatives are entering a time of questioning and reflection, like Teresa. In this conversation, we hear from Teresa on the themes of: ** Knowing when the sabbatical has ended. ** The deeper questions that accompany stopping. ** Releasing old ways of doing things. ** Getting excited before new possibilities appear. ** Encouragement for the low times. and a practical way Teresa and her husband have found to make great literature available and accessible to kids who may not otherwise be exposed to it. Find Teresa at: https://burstsofbrilliance.com https://www.teresafunke.com/ And order her latest book, Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative L

Adjusting to New Conditions

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My son got his driver's license this morning and drove himself solo to school for the first time. We've been hearing all day that snow was coming, and there was a dusting by noon that didn't add any challenges. Even an hour before school got out, roads were clear, and all appeared to be well. In that last hour, the snow finally started to fall, and the roads covered over quickly and became very icy. Bodhi had never driven on snow before this, so he was pretty nervous. He got to a place where he could pull into a parking lot and called us to ask what he should do. We talked over a couple of alternate routes, and he chose the one he felt the safest driving on and slowly made it the rest of the way home. There were so many other ways he could have reacted to these unexpected conditions. He could have just kept going on the busier street where he felt less safe. He could have asked us to come and bring him home. He could have chosen one of the routes we didn't talk about. I

An Exchange Between Artist and Marketer

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My friend Teresa forwarded an email she received from Andrew Simonet, an amazing resource for professional artists ( Blog here: https://www.artistsu.org/blog ) He was taking a pretty bold stance against a marketing professional who had addressed a gathering of artists and told them that their main problem was one of branding. I share his consternation about this.  I've been the guy with the PowerPoint, telling the artists how they need to market themselves. And I've been the guy trying to land another gig, get another ten names on the mailing list, and sell another CD so I can put enough gas in the car to get home. Ultimately, his point was that the people who bring these business world solutions to artists and other creative people aren't doing so with a complete understanding of the people they're addressing. And the brilliant point he made was that artists don't need to be fixed; they need partners. This gave me much to reflect on and talk about. #artbusiness #a

Changing Your Mind

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I've talked about shifting attention before and mentioned the limitations of my faith in self-assessments. The theme is back today as I remembered a presentation I gave last year called Changing Your mind About Marketing. That talk was inspired by my experience of creating a different experience of marketing and selling by changing my thinking about those activities. And changing my thinking didn't require repeated affirmations or years of meditation. It was simply a shift in attention. I stopped paying attention to my thinking, and my thinking automatically changed. The more recent inspiration for this topic was in two recent conversations with friends who had recently taken self-assessment tests like the Enneagram or Myers-Briggs. One of the challenges associated with these tests is that we convince ourselves that they reveal permanent truths about who we are when they actually reveal generalizations about our preferences. We're not limited to the experiences that the tes

Celebrating Success: Yat-Yee Chong, Axon Martial Arts Academy

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While searching for enriching activities for her children and family, Yat-Yee Chong discovered the martial art, Tae Kwon Do. While her family eventually left the practice behind, Yat-Yee found that she had both an aptitude and an attraction to the sport. In 2020, after multiple black belts and a 2015 World Championship win, Mrs. Chong has taken her passion for Tae Kwon Do and opened her own studio. Yat-Yee opened Axon Martial Arts Academy in Loveland, Colorado with the vision of teaching individuals and families this martial art she has mastered. Starting from shared spaces with dance studios and gyms, Yat-Yee began offering classes a few times each week, fitting them in between the schedules of the programs she shared facilities with. Last Saturday, she reached a milestone in her business with the grand opening of her new space on Loveland's North side. This Coffee Break celebrates Yat-Yee and her vision, persistence, and grit. If you live in Northern Colorado and are looking for

Marketing Through a Book Project - Monique Renee Eckes

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In this "Best of" clip from Your Own Best Company, Silver Paw Studio Pet Photographer Monique Eckes shares her idea for a book-centered marketing project called NoCo for Doggos. This week, we share the excitement of the book's release and send congrats to Monique for yet another vision realized. If you are a pet photographer or would like to take better pictures of your pets, see Monique's Pro Pet Photog YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/SilverPawStudioFortCollins If you're in Northern Colorado and you'd like to book a session with Monique for your pet, please visit https://silverpawstudio.com And if you'd like to watch the whole interview with Monique for more creative inspiration, go here: https://youtu.be/4R_xVSWfOx0 #petphotography #professionalphotographer #northerncolorado 

Human Design and Your Business, Part 2 - Andrew Rogers

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In part 1 of this episode, Andrew Rogers of Human Design Solutions told his own story of journey and discovery. In part 2, he will explain the Human Design body graph chart using Franklin's as an example. Part 1 is available here: https://youtu.be/YAvC6NLY02I If you'd like to get your free Human Design Report, visit: https://www.humandesignsolutions.com/free-reports/ Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-rogers-hds/ #humandesign #manifestinggenerator #business 

Human Design and Your Business, Part 1 - Andrew Rogers

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Andrew Rogers started his career as a management accountant, where his analytical skills were put to good use. Five years into that path, he realized that he wanted something different that would allow him to travel. A random conversation with a housemate led to a decision to see Australia. Serendipitous events have opened doors for him ever since and ultimately led him to explore meditation and, later, Human Design, a profound understanding of how humans operate in the world. His interest in Human Design has motivated him to be trained in its methods and interpretations, which has led to his recent decision to open a consultancy to help businesses and organizations benefit from understanding how team members are born to operate. In part 1 of this episode, Andy tells his own story of journey and discovery. In part 2, he will explain the body graph chart using Franklin's as an example. Part 2 of this episode is here: https://youtu.be/aSFoHOPrcw8 If you'd like to get your free Hu

Being Remarkable

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The topic of a morning discussion was on becoming remarkable. Referenced in the conversation was the Seth Godin book, Purple Cow, and it later brought to my mind the book, So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport. Newport is the author of another of my favorites, Deep Work. I was struck in the discussion by a paradox I've experienced in which I do work that I think is remarkable, but it doesn't land that way for others. I've experienced that with many areas of creation, from songs to books to workshops to coaching. If I attempt to orchestrate the remarkability, the outcome tends to not be remarkable at all. The handful of moments in my life I can point at as remarkable were such due to many factors that were outside my control - the mood of the audience, the energy level of the crowd, the anticipation of the event - these were not factors that I had any influence upon. Just like every other night, I showed up and played. It's just on those nights, something deep

Post-Election Stress Disorder

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I wasn't deeply involved in the election this week except for the voting part, and today I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I limit my intake of news and media as much as possible around election time because the heightened stress and vigilance are way past too much, and there is no resolution gained through our traditional process. There is no period of relief after the elections now. The 24-hour news cycle assures that. I've talked about how marketing is having a long-term negative effect on our collective nervous system, and I have to include political advertising in the  list of offenders. Even with the sound off, I can still read the onscreen text that intentionally triggers fear and paints opponents in the worst possible light.  I'm not even hopeful that this can change, but the real question I have is what will it take for us to want the change badly enough? In the midst of all my angst and weariness I still have hope. I have hope because creative, deep-t

Communicating Your Specialty

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I mentioned the Clients Everywhere workshop the other day, and one of the activities that tend to be most surprising - Communicating Your Specialty. There were some questions floating around about that today, so I wanted to say a bit more. Talking about what we do can be confusing and frustrating because of a few inherent challenges and a persistent belief. Starting with the belief - many of us assume that people aren't really interested in what we do. And we may have some experiences that seemingly back up that assumption. But I've come to challenge it. I believe we can make our descriptions of what we do both compelling and interesting if we take the time to think more deeply about how we talk about it, and then practice telling our own story. Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller is one of the best resources I've found for this and he helps people construct memorable stories about their business in a variety of sizes for a wide range of contexts. As we gain comfort and

Changed Plans and Unexpected Opportunities

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Two unexpected changes in the schedule today tanked my original creative plans but turned into welcome but unexpected opportunities.  Landing on your feet is a good skill to have.  Things never go exactly as planned. That's not up to you.  Learn to see the possibilities in front of you. #flexibility #specialty #marketing 

Buy From The Creative People You Know

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The holiday shopping season is starting in earnest now that Halloween has passed. Before you spend a ton of money on Black Friday deals and e-commerce that takes your money well outside the local area, consider making significant purchases from creative people you know. There are many reasons to consider, but these are my tops: ** It's validating for the person you buy from and helps them feel valued. ** More of your money stays in the local economy, supporting more than just one business. ** It's an investment in your local culture. Without your investment, your hometown loses it's character and soul. Make a list of creative people you know and prioritize buying from them. Do this before Black Friday and make it a bigger priority every year. If you don't know any creative people, please change that. Start hanging out at galleries, museums, concerts, readings, and anywhere else creative people show up where you live. We all thank you! #holidayshopping #buyart #localcult

The Art of the Online Networking Mixer - Jason Van Orden

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In this "Best of " clip from Your Own Best Company, Jason Van Orden shares how he and Michael Roderick came up with the idea for an online mixer that makes other online experiences pale by comparison. Now called the Generous Entrepreneurs in Media mixer, Jason tells the origin story and the ongoing vision for these monthly events that bring together media producers, potential guests, and collaborators. In the original full episode of this interview, Jason also gave a tremendous presentation on building your first online course. This detailed outline will help you find a great idea and make a practical plan of action as you create your first course. See the full interview with Jason here: https://youtu.be/uqnqBrxTjHY If you're interested in joining an upcoming online mixer, register here: http://generousentrepreneursinmedia.com/ If you'd like to learn more about building online courses and Jason's other services, please visit https://jasonvanorden.com . #networking

Becoming Referable - Michael Roderick

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Michael Roderick is a connector, masterfully bringing the right people together and facilitating the relationship-building that needs to happen. He teaches others how to show up more powerfully in meetings and gatherings and become more referable - becoming someone who gets other people talking about them without being in the same room. In this episode, Michael tells the story of getting started as a high school English teacher with a two-year stint as the Dean of Discipline for the summer school until a Seth Godin book inspired a move from education to becoming a Broadway producer. In a miraculously short time, Michael again created new and unique systems to bring money and people together by creating opportunities for them to gather. His company, Small Pond Enterprises, provides consulting and education to people ready to accelerate their business growth through relationship strategy. Learn more at https://smallpondenterprises.com . Michael also hosts the podcast, Access to Anyone, b

When You Don't Know What You Want

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Some of the people in my life have been talking to me recently about not knowing what they want. They're transitioning out of situations they've been in for a long time and don't have a clear idea of what they want to do next. I also hear from kids who are getting ready for graduation, and they feel a lot of pressure to choose a track for their life, and they aren't ready to do that yet.  One of the few soapboxes I have is the removal of exploration and experimentation from permissible human experiences. There is pressure from within and without to know way ahead of time what we're going to do and how we're going to be before we can have even a reasonable chance to know. And there isn't a way to know without exploring and experimenting. A lot of my fellow coaches and consultants push clients in the direction of strategy and planning before people even have a clear idea of what they want. And then they think there's something wrong with them when those pl

Challenging Assumptions About What Audiences Want

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Every time I've tried to write a song based on what I think audiences will like, I've ended up hating the song. And the songs I'm surprised and delighted to have written tend to be the ones audiences like best.  Trying to determine what a group of people will like or respond to has been mostly a fool's errand. If I've tried to create a song, an event, or a presentation from the assumptions I make about what people want, it usually is a recipe for failure. In this Coffee Break, I remember the time I lived in Nashville and attended writers' nights almost every night that I lived there. I was always amazed at how many writers tried to take radio hits and turn them into success formulas. At that time, popular country songs were about tractors, trucks, and line dancing. So, many writers would try to latch onto those trends and themes  in their songs every night. Of all of the writers I met, only one had any success with one of these themes, and the reason his song go

Should I Worry About Artificial Intelligence Taking My Job?

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In recent months, I've had several conversations about artificial intelligence and the future of human labor. Most of these have had a central concern about being replaced by a computer or a machine. I'm not going to pretend like that won't or can't happen. It's the most likely scenario; humans have been evolving technology to replace our labor since the first tools were invented. Every technological advance has had an impact on human labor, and we've had to adapt, learn, and find new ways to deliver value to each other as we've been equipped with better and more pervasive technology. Why should this new technological age be any different? It is happening much more quickly than past advances, and the interconnectedness of the tech is more complex than any we've had before, but the stages we'll go through will be similar to ones we've had in the past. An initial stage of resistance and grief at the losses that happen. The next stage is taking stoc