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Sheldonbarrocks.com Posts

Your Creative Stimulus

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government has pledged a 10 billion dollar stimulus package to help the slumping economy.

Agree with it or not, this is the means Parliament uses to have the economy flow in dire times.

Writer’s block? Creative block? How do you overcome it? What’s your creative stimulus?

Sometimes the doing isn’t actually creating the thing. Its the reading. The watching. The listening.

When no creative juices are flowing, it’s okay to stop, turn on Netflix, and chill.

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Risks Are Better Calculated

Pro sports is over thanks to COVID-19

The NBA, NHL, MLB and others have either cancelled or postponed all or parts of their 2020 season. All for good reason as the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe.

Heads of pro sports don’t want to take any risks and rightfully so.

But, in actuality, they are taking risks. The risk to lose revenue in exchange for the health of the players, their families, the fans and the general public. The expectation is that there will be a brighter day for all.

So risks aren’t bad. It’s all about taking the right kind of risks. And those risks usually center around more than just ourselves.

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We’re All Forced to Slow Down

A snapshot of the conditions around the world shows us its time for reflection.

There will be time to push, grind and strive towards our creative and business goals.

Now, at least for the next few days, let’s take time to make that phone call or send that text message we’ve been delaying to send.

It not about fear or halting progress on that project. It’s about understanding the purpose of why we want to make things happen in the first place.

We don’t live life in a vacuum. We are all in this together.

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Know What the Market Wants

One of the first pairs of kicks I bought to flip was the Nike Air Max Penny 1 “Pinstripe”. I got a great deal on the last pair from a Foot Locker outlet. They were considered retro silhouettes from Nike so I thought for sure I could make at least $50 on a resale. After about a couple of weeks, I ended up selling them for the price I paid.

No buyers bit on my marked up online offers. That shouldn’t have been surprising to me since I purchased them from an outlet store. And you know if it’s from an outlet, then no one wanted them.

Lesson learned.

Ask yourself this: Is there a strong market for the product or service you are offering? If yes then YOU can determine the value. When applying for a new position, do you have skills that are in high demand? Don’t be afraid to name your price when negotiating a salary. Value is synonymous with what the market needs, and if there happens to be a shortage of that ‘need’.

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COVID-19: Our Excuse to Dream

COVID-19 has many in fear today. Based on the media’s consistent updates of the virus global effect, most would say the fear is warranted.

But have we stopped to ask ourselves why we fear? Is it the virus itself or is it the impact on the economy which could have a direct effect on our daily routine.

While those issues matter, our biggest fear is our own life. The fear of death.

At the risk of sounding morbid, we can count on our taxes to be paid and that we will all cease to exist one day.

So the question is if you knew this was the last month of your life how would you live? Would you take time to stock up on canned goods and toilet paper? Or would you use your creative talents to make an impact while you still can?

Yes, wash your hands thoroughly, stock up on goods if you must. But don’t allow fear to take the precious time you have left to live in purpose. Use COVID-19 as an excuse to make that business or creative project come to life.

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Don’t Fear the Light

If you’ve never heard of the book Wonder or seen the movie adaptation, its a story of a boy named August (or Auggie) who was born with a genetic disorder that caused his face to be disfigured at birth.

Numerous years, and facial surgeries later, his parents decide grade 5 would be the right time to send him to school with other kids after being home-schooled for the first early years of his life.

One of the more notable quotes from the movie comes from Auggie’s sister Via.

“You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.” – Via

Auggie’s sister Via reminds him to see his difference is an asset and not a liability. That there could be a higher calling or purpose for his life because of his condition.

We are all unique in different ways. It just depends if we choose to allow that uniqueness to shine through and potentially open up unexpected opportunities and experiences this year.

Choose to embrace your uniqueness and don’t fear the light your fresh ideas could bring you into.

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Celebrate Our Women

It seems so normal for men to learn business success from other men. And commonplace for women to learn creative concepts from men.

But for some reason, there’s a heightened sense of significance when we witness men learning from successful women or influential women taking leadership roles in fortune 500 companies.

Yes, for the challenges women have faced for centuries, we need to acknowledge the progression society has made to date.

But make no mistake, from the beginning of time women have always been the backbone of our communities. They are entrepreneurs, executives, leaders, creators, innovators, teachers, nurturers, and what I like to call my wife – the oracle of our families.

On this day, International Women’s Day 2020, let’s all be less surprised for how far women have come and celebrate that we all see what they have always known about themselves.

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Consumption Problem

Whether in the form of a blog post, web article or book, content is designed to be consumed and reapplied to the creative work in our lives.

It’s typically not always a smooth process, but that’s the way it should work.

We progress in our understanding when we stop only consuming and actually activate actions towards what we desire to do.

How much more content do you need to digest before taking a risk and stepping out to accomplish your goals?

You can learn by reading, but you experience a whole lot more by doing.

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It’s Not All Innovative

Amazon recently opened a full size “cashier-free” grocery store in Seattle WA.

The 10,400-square-foot “Amazon Go Grocery” store uses cameras and sensors to detect which products customers pick off the shelves, allowing shoppers to pay for a bagful of groceries without the help of a cashier.

Some see it as a controversial, job-killing business model that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos himself had dismissed three years ago.

Others will be overjoyed at the possibility of bypassing long grocery checkout lanes.

I, on the other hand, am still trying to figure out how I’ll price match without a cashier to assist me. Looks like the cashier-less stores will keep more money by reducing headcount and controlling the price points as they see fit.

Real innovation should help us all save more time AND money.

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Its Okay to Change Your Mind

Last December I decided to stop operating a creative services business I had launched part-time outside of my full-time career.

It was a difficult decision to make as I had built strong partnerships with several of my clients over a short period of time.

I knew it was the right decision at the time, but it didn’t feel like it.

These words from the shark Robert Herjavec in his book You Don’t Have to be A Shark changed my perspective:

“In current business circles, a change in course is known as a pivot. You are not giving up and you are certainly not abandoning your dream. You are recognizing that success doesn’t lie in quite the same spot that it once did. There is no shame in changing course when aiming for success. It can be both a source of pride and a demonstration of wisdom.”

Changing your mind about pursuing a project or business is not giving up. It’s a strategy for your own well being and personal success.

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