• office work

    Thank You for All The Love. A New Studio

    Loads of folks have chimed in with congratulations, look-at-you-guys & “NIIIIICCCCEEEE” in regards to The Wonder Jam’s new office space.

    Thanks. It means a lot.

    I was pretty emotional the past week. This journey has meant a lot and honestly, it’s all new. I absorb a lot of leadership/marketing/business/creative books/blogs/podcasts/videos, but there’s something totally different when it’s you in the driver’s seat.

    This journey has been so rewarding, so hard and so worth it. I feel every problem and every mistake. There’s no boss to absorb it. The weight lands squarely on me and it’s up to Allie and I to address those issues.

    (I’m a big believer of taking yourself of cutting down the pedestal that others put you on, so here’s a few things we’re growing at…)

    From a process perspective, The Wonder Jam has grown to the point where we’re nearly bursting at the seams in terms of work, significant work. We are continually seeking processes that work for us. (If you have a great system – or know of someone who does – for using Basecamp, please let me know).

    From a financial perspective, we’re still figuring things out. We know more than a rookie, but still have a lot of learning to go. Luckily, when I asked Charitax to handle it for me, Eric looked me in the eyes and said “I don’t know of anyone who has a business your size who is successful and doesn’t handle that on their own.” (aka “GROW UP, SON!”)

    From a creative perspective, we’re doing some of the most fun work we’ve been able to do in a while. Clients are meeting with us and asking us to do MORE and take over MORE of their marketing & creative & social media. All this work leads to a very busy day and a very busy day can make you miss out of taking care of your soul and your soul is the place from which you are creative.

    From a growth perspective, we’re still figuring out which direction we want to grow. Do we just charge more? Do we hire a lot of people? Do we hire a few people? Do we shift into more consulting/coaching/advising in order to reduce the actual production hours on our plate? .

    What are we? Photographers? Designers? Business people? Artists? Website builders? Search Engine Optimizers? Social Media Experts (who isn’t)? Probably a weird mixture of all of it.

    There’s a lot in transition. A lot in flux and a lot – a LOT – of great stuff happening.

    For the past 3 months we’ve legitimately loved all of our clients, enjoyed them even. I don’t really know anyone who gets to say that, so we’re fortunate.

    So when you say “congrats,” I’m assuming you don’t mean “You’ve DONE IT!”

    Because trust me folks, the IT hasn’t been DONE.

    Thank You very much. We appreciate the journey so far and we even get a little sentimental just thinking about it, BUT…

    … but the engine is just warming up!

     

  • Focus, Habits and Multi-tasking

    I just listened to an interview with Jay Papasan, co-author of “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.”

    Jay’s content is powerful and culminates all I’ve leaned into the past 3 months. You can listen to the full podcast here (29 Minutes).

    Here’s some key ideas from Jay:

    1. Multi-tasking is responsible for losing 28% of productivity. Essentially, if you stop multi-tasking, you can accomplish in 4 days what others accomplish in 5.

    2. The key to people who get a lot of stuff done is knowing what to focus on and knowing what to say NO to. (Example, a great marriage happens when you say YES to one person and NO to everyone else….)

    3. Habits actually take 66 days to form, not the typical 21 thrown around often…

    4. This gets even more important when you consider that “habits” are actions that don’t tax our cognitive stamina in the same way that “non-habitual actions.” Great read on Medium about “cognitive stamina.

    5. Your willpower fluctuates throughout the day and is strongest in the morning – thus – tackle your most important tasks first. It’s also connected to blood sugar levels (ie, your diet makes a huge difference in your productivity and effectiveness at work).

    Discussion Time! 

    Of the 5 above, which resonates most strongly with you? Which represents a shift you need to make?

     

  • I’m At My Best When I’m Disciplined

    Maybe you’re like me.

    Maybe you love free-flowing conversations and spur of the moment changes.

    Maybe you’re more fluid and less rigid.

    That’s how I am.

    In the launch of SightShift – The Book author, Chris McAlister, and I had laid out a detailed plan of the publication and promotion timeline. In the days and weeks before and after, we made a series of adjustments that powered us and made a real difference in the impact of the launch. I was totally comfortable making changes on the fly.

    Most of my blog posts get typed up on my iPad during my morning routine. Usually, I just hit “publish” without too many revisions or edits or proofreading (if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know it).

    I can lead and live and coach and consult and market in a very fluid manner. Holding a solid grasp on core values, I can make changes, compromises and offer advice as needed. I’m at home showing up to a meeting unprepared. Extemporaneous speaking was never hard for me.

    But it’s easy for me to get buried in that.

    If I lived an ultra-regimented life, I’d be miserable. If I feel I’m in a box or rut or just going through the motions, I get caged; I rebel.

    But when I’m just a little bit discipline or a little bit regimented, I flourish. I’m able to overflow into relationships and free-flowing conversations. Friendships, consulting, coaching all grow. I feel like a little kid at play.

    For me – structure & discipline & regiment are not the meat and potatoes, they’re the spices that make the meal special.

    If you’re like me, know that you’re at your best when you’re disciplined.

    If you’re not like me, maybe just sprinkle in a bit of free-form into your regimented life.

  • Creating a Mental Trigger to Inspire Healthy Action during Moments of Fear

    Last week during our weekly meeting for The Wonder Jam, Allie and I did an exercise.

    You’d benefit from it too.

    We each took a sheet of paper and – in 10 minutes – wrote down all the places we felt like we didn’t measure up. It’s a depressing list to create, but the power of the exercise isn’t in making a good list, it’s in putting on paper the little bits of shame, fear and comparison that are running through our heads each day.

    Once that is done, we read each item to each other, one by one. Generally, we didn’t comment or elaborate or explain them away. We just let them linger.

    Now, if you stop here, you’ll be depressed…. Please don’t stop here.

    The next list we made was a list of 6 things we want to be known for. Core values, qualities and habits that we want to mark our life and our work. Do this off the top of your head too and make it true for you.

    (The keys here are to make YOUR list not what you think the list should be).

    Now stacking that “don’t-measure-up” list against the “who-I-want-to-be” list will show you THE GAP. THE GAP is the distance between who you are and who you want to be. Again, this isn’t from your customers, or blog readers or competitor’s perspective. It’s you. All you.

    Now take the “who-i-want-to-be” list and write 3-5 small things you can do every day that will help you truly BE who you want to BE.

    An example: I want to feel generous in my work. This means paying clients get more than they paid for and clients with no money feel like there’s still something they can have that makes sense for them. I want generosity to mark my work – even if it’s unseen, I want to feel it. So with Generosity as a core characteristic, I made a list of a few things I can do every day to make sure I’m being generous.

    • Say “no” to the right things, so I have time to be generous.
    • Set expectations on client deliverables (so they’ll know when we’re giving more than they paid for).
    • Raise prices, thus creating space and time to focus on over-delivering for clients.
    • Volunteer for causes we’re passionate about helping.
    • Create resources to equip those who can’t afford our services to grow their business.

    So you’ll see that this final list is tactical. It helps me make decisions. It helps me focus on what’s important. If my brain starts to wonder, I can look at this list and I know what to do that helps us be who we want to be.

    Now here’s how to make this permanent. After you’ve made this final list, write it down and put it in your pocket, wallet or purse (a 3×5 card will be a great way to do this). Or write it out and set it up as a recurring notification on your phone, calendar or to-do app.

    Anytime you start to feel weight of the “don’t-measure-up” list, head to that card and get your mind focused on the write thing. Create a mental trigger that turns moments of shame and fear into moments of action and growth.

    I’d LOVE to hear how this works for you. Comment here OR email me.

  • Are you finding new customers?

    Or capturing the hearts and minds of real, living, breathing human beings?

    Big difference.

    Capturing the imagination and wonder of a human who is being bombarded with messages and noise all day…

    or are you happy to get another name, another email address, another statistic to report to the boss?

    One is easy (relatively) and the other takes a spark of genius, a little bit of luck and some fantastic timing.

    One lasts for 10 minutes (until someone captures your new customers heart and mind) the other lasts a lifetime.

    The difference between a one-hit-wonder and Elvis.

    Be Elvis.

  • Best Practices + New Things

    Best Practices exist because enough people have tried it, failed and learned.

    Whatever industry you’re in has a series of accepted best practices. It’s great to learn these.

    • Green Buttons on a website get more clicks.
    • Tweets with “you” get more retweets than tweets with “I.”
    • Emails sent on Tuesday morning have the highest open rate.

    If you build a series of best practices, you’re going to be boring. Really boring. And unnoticed.

    So it’s fantastic to marry your best practices with a personality, emotion and art. New things.

    New colors, new graphics, new fonts, new words, new emotions.

    Don’t let creativity push you away from best practices.

    Don’t let best practices keep you from making art.

    It’s actually much, much more difficult to continually live in the tension of the two. It’s hard work to know when to choose are and when to choose proven experience.

    But keep trying. Keep testing. See how it feels. See which inspires you. Try. Fail. Try. Fail. Try. Succeed.

  • When everyone on social media is an idiot…

    … you should probably get off of it.

    Ever hopped onto Facebook and immediately found yourself snarky, jealous or cynical towards your “friends” who’ve been posting there?

    When you realize you’re getting tired of your Twitter stream, maybe it’s time to take a breather.

    We all go through episodes of being annoyed with people. And it’s best to go on a walk, do some push-ups or drink a beer and forget about the social networkers.

    Put your phone on airplane mode and watch a movie that always makes you laugh.

    Read a book.

    Sketch.

    Write.

    Meditate.

    If we don’t find something to do that doesn’t involve a screen, we’re going to go berzerk.

    Let yourself off the hook every once in a while.

    All the tweets and posts and likes will be here when you get back.

  • 42 Ways to Win at Life, Business, and Relationships

    You don’t have to win at everything to win, you just have to win at some things….

    You can win by winning at….

    1. honesty
    2. effort
    3. listening
    4. caring
    5. writing
    6. humor
    7. causing reactions
    8. debating
    9. explaining
    10. building trust
    11. looking cool
    12. delight
    13. connecting
    14. awareness
    15. humility
    16. confidence
    17. recommending
    18. exploring
    19. trying
    20. collaborating
    21. quiting
    22. simplifying
    23. being optimistic
    24. observing
    25. taking action
    26. being patient
    27. resting
    28. sustaining
    29. maximizing
    30. offering
    31. wooing
    32. commanding
    33. nurturing
    34. empathizing
    35. innovating
    36. safrificing
    37. defending
    38. leading
    39. selling
    40. forgiving
    41. focusing
    42. believing

    You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to be great at all 42. In fact, you can be quite average but be great at something not on the list.

    But figure out what you are and be great at it.

  • What Makes A Great Book?

    I’m working with an author right now. He has a massively great book and a massively great idea, but a small budget and the fledgling growth of an audience.

    Doing a quick digest of current Amazon best sellers within his niche, a few things become evident.

    There are two kinds of books.

    Books built on promotion and books built on purpose.

    Promoted books have elaborate marketing schemes around them, they’re marketed to death, reach a best seller list and then are replaced. These authors are now “best-selling” authors, who can claim that for the rest of their life and double or triple their rates for speaking gigs and pick up a larger audience because of their blip on that list.

    For many, mission accomplished. And this is a worthwhile mission.

    Books built on purpose take a bit longer to gain critical mass, book sales and have an audience pick up their book and spread the idea.

    At least in the niche’s I’m researching, these books rarely overlap. Rarely is an important, meaningful book promoted with the same savvy of the book built on marketing. These books are built on story, experience, crafted writing and emotional connection.

    They sit on a best-seller list for years and don’t easily get knocked off the list. Those authors can proudly wear the title of “best-selling author” for a lifetime. They’ll enjoy revenue from book sales for years. They’ll have speaking engagements for life. They’ll have new people discovering them and their work long after the author is dead and buried (in fact, that death of that author make spark dramatic expansion of the idea and movement).

    Each of our lives, careers and relationships is built the same way. It’s hard to explain the differences, but we can feel them. We can feel the difference between a person is successful because they’re hyping their talents and a person who’s talent has always been there and they’ve just been discovered.

    So I’m curious. For you, what makes a GREAT book? What’s the difference between GOOD and GREAT?

  • Do You Own Your Time?

    Do you feel like you own your time?

    Like really own it?

    Are you in charge of each hour of your day?

    Does it feel like you are?

    Because this is the reality, you are in charge of your time. You can charge whatever you’d like for it. You can give it to whatever you’d like.

    You can trade it for anything you’d like.

    But you have to trade it, or keep it, or give it.

    You control that.

    If you’re a victim of your boss, your job, your clients or your circumstances; I can’t do much for you.

    If you own your time, lets talk…..