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Category: Life

Creative Loyalty Doesn’t Exist

Giving your word to someone and keeping is standard practice for maintaining your integrity throughout business and in life.

The same doesn’t apply to your own personal pursuits. Contrary to popular opinion, quitting or giving up can actually be a good thing.

Since 2010 I had launched and subsequently took down several online blogs. While I know there could have been some benefit in continuing with even just one of them, I was honest with myself about how much passion I really had for the project.

Each time I quit I opened myself to experience something new, while adding what I learned from my past experiences to help me excel.

There are those who are okay to continue working on something to uphold the moral code of ‘not quitting’ and ‘finishing what you’ve started’.

You don’t have to be that person. Feel free to quit and start something at your leisure. You’ll come to realize trail and error is the gateway to longterm success and growth.

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Tell Your Story Often

Blogs became popular in the late 2000’s because of the innate ability to provide a platform for sharing personal stories.

These stories were often reflective. Individuals detailing unexpected challenges and how they eventually conquered them. Sometimes it was just about being in the challenge and not knowing how to get out of it .

They were (and still are) appealing because they were personal. Relatable. These stories put us at ease because in that monument we realized we weren’t the only ones facing daily challenges.

Personal blogs have been replaced by content marketing strategies. Companies that do this well are good at sharing stories that touch us on a deeper level than just letting us know why their product or service is the one we should buy.

Whether in business or life, telling your story often is more beneficial then not telling it. Sharing the bad as well as the good reminds us all that journey to success is not without times we’d rather forget.

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Purposeful Connections

It’s impossible to believe that every contact we network with will turnout to be a key contact down the road.

Not all good conversations translate into beneficial relationships. Some may be just for a moment, brining enlightenment to the vision you have for your life.

Other connections will be for only a specific amount of time. A week, a month, maybe longer.

And then, there are ones we decide not to follow through on and that’s okay.

We are not built with the capacity to make every connection a long term one. The key is to watch actions, consistent achievements and actions towards others as an indicator beyond just words from a conversation at a networking event.

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Master the Day

When contemplating success we often think and focus our attention on the destination only. What do we really want to accomplish? What place do we want to get to? How happy will we be when we get there?

It’s partly not our fault. Companies spend millions every year on marketing techniques that will make us feel unfulfilled until we buy their products and services. We are sold on faster, quicker, easier because we desperately seek our destination over everything else.

There’s no short cut to daily mastery. What does that mean? Mastering the day should be our single most important focus, well, daily!

What action will get us closer to our goal than we were yesterday? It’s an important question to ask ourselves, but we must quantify it accurately. Writing 200 words today for a 30,000-word book gets you closer to publishing that book than writing zero words. It may seem like a small achievement but in 7 days that’s 1400 words. In a month its 6000 words. In 5 months of writing only 200 words a day, you’ll have at the very least your first draft done!

This can only be accomplished by Mastering the day. Our mind has to let go of yesterday and the things we couldn’t complete and focus on the day ahead. We also must not put much of our thoughts into future days in front of us.

Mastering the day is a sole focus on the present. Yes be mindful of the days ahead and the goals you’ve put in place, but the practice of being present and completing small actionable items every day is the secret to seeing long lasting success in our lives.

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Hobby, Not a Hustle

Not every creative pursuit needs to be a side hustle

If we’ve learned anything from the current global climate its to take time to enjoy the many facets of our life. Hobbies allow time for mental wellness healing away from the daily grind.

Be intentional about taking time for creative hobbies. Writing, painting, building, teaching, even charitable work like missions.

It’s unrealistic to believe we can work, hustle or grind every minute we’re awake to achieve our dreams.

Holistic balance is part of the equation to achieving long term success.

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How Are You Connecting?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate how we socially connect during this period of social distancing.

Casual water cooler conversations at work have been replaced by pre-scheduled Zoom or Skype calls. Catching up with friends has been regulated in the form of playing games on the now popular House Party app.

Those are just two examples. What about our faith-based communities? The church I attend has skillfully set up Zoom and Instagram Live sessions with my teens and the children’s ministry pastor has reached out multiple times to connect to see how we are doing.

We are all tasked with discovering new ways to connect socially. This can seem challenging at times. When that happens we need to remind ourselves that there are many who don’t have a regular circle to connect with and could use a random text, call or Zoom from us.

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Be Prepared

Always be prepared for success but also be prepared for things not to go your way. Wrenches come in all forms.

It’s not about the lack of positive thinking. It’s about being mentally prepared for the possibility of multiple scenarios to unfold.

Getting emotionally caught up in an opportunity leads to not always retaining the best perspective on the situation.

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The Benefits of Downtime

As we celebrate another Easter Sunday it’s important that we all understand the benefits and the purpose of downtime.

My definition of downtime is being away from what we put our hand to most. Career, business, creative projects, or anything else we put most of our passion or intellectual energy into.

Downtime isn’t counterproductive. It allows us time to rest, rejuvenate, and re-energize or focus. Stepping back can provide a better perspective on what’s really important in life and give clarity to what we’re actually trying to accomplish.

The idea of downtime looks different for everyone. If you like to hike, then escape and do it! Start a new novel that is unrelated to your daily work. Watch a movie with the kids. Call a friend. Bake cookies. Paint. Just do something that relaxes you and takes you away from the daily grind even for a moment. Preferably without the distraction of your phone.

Use Easter as an excuse for downtime today. When you get back into your work this week you’ll be glad you did.

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Who’s Writing Your Narravtive?

You should get a college or university degree!

You shouldn’t work a 9 to 5 job!

You should have a side hustle and several streams of income!

You should buy a house before the age of 25!

Quit your job and take the leap as an entrepreneur!

These are all the hot takes we hear in the 21st century. The problem is they are ‘absolute’ statements. Read the definition below.

Absolute (noun): A value or principle which is regarded as universally valid or which may be viewed without relation to other things.

So statements considered as absolute have 2 problems. One, they are regarded as universally valid and two, viewed without having any regard for specific relative information.

If what you choose to do with your life is solely based on ideas that are socially acceptable, without relating it to your personal situation, preferences or creative aspirations, you’re allowing your life narrative to be written by someone else.

Make sure you own your narrative. Don’t let others write it for you.

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Remember to Have Fun

When you finally land that dream job…

When they say yes to your article pitch…

When they accept your quote for that creative project…

When you can finally quit your day job and be a full time entrepreneur…

…There will be hours work ahead of you.

But…

Remember to enjoy the journey. Don’t forget the love for why you do what you do.

Remember to have fun.

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