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The Holistic Creative Life

Never limit your creativity to only what you do professionally.

Always be willing to expand your horizons in every area of your life.

Try a new recipe. Take a new route to work. read a new author. Take up a new hobby. Participate in a new discussion group.

But also use creative techniques to stay physically, mentally, and financially sound. Be open to new ways of doing things.

True creatives live well rounded lives and always seek adventure and intrigue. They know that doing so leads to initiating fresh creative thought more often then just living a ritualistic monotonous life.

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A Tip for Self Motivation

In an effort to move forward and accomplish bigger and better, we’re often told to let go of the past or forget about our past failures.

This is true to an extent.

Past shortcomings sometimes inhibit our ability to confidently move forward because of the fear of failure repeating itself.

Alternatively some people look back at failures as an opportunity to learn from it and push them to ‘try again’.

A better tip for motivation is something I practice often.

In biblical times the Hebrews would build an alter at a specific location to remind them of the times God performed miracles in their lives.

When I feel the lack of motivation I usually go back to articles I’ve written that had a lot of online engagement or remember significant accomplishments in my career (like winning awards, etc.).

When you wake up feeling less than inspired to start the day, take time to look back at your past successes. Think about them, and relive the emotions of those moments.

You will be reminded that you have what it takes to execute the next big thing in your life and career.

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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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Finding Solutions Already Provided

My kids don’t go to an after school arts programs. They watch drawing tutorials on YouTube.

Creative thought should go beyond the physical manifestation of an idea. It’s about being able to solve a problem using the simplest means.

For kids art classes at home, YouTube already solved the complex part of the problem. Our part is locating the solution already provided.

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You’re Customers Should Love You

About 8 years ago I had a scheduled quarterly business review with a major client from the the company I worked for. The meeting just happened to be on my birthday.

When I arrived at the client’s office and began prepping for the meeting, 2 of the client’s employees who I deal with frequently approached the boardroom where I was located with a cupcake in hand.

A few seconds later they were serenading happy birthday. I blew out the candle and after some pleasantries we eventually continued with the meeting.

Some might think gestures like this should be offered the other way around. Make no mistake we always take care of our customers. But when customers reciprocate in the same way then there’s something you’re doing right in the relationship.

This only happens when you see your customer more than just a transaction to hit monthly revenue goals.

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How to Design Your Creative Space

What visuals motivate you? What triggers your creativity? What pushes you to give your best? What stirs up fresh ideas?

Think about these questions and answer them honestly.

I worked in logistics for years and it’s traditionally not a creative industry. However I bring creative thought to every role I work in regardless. It’s important for me to have visuals around daily to stimulate fresh perspectives and new ideas to solve old problems.

My creative space is set up with books I’ve read and books I plan to read. I have a picture of my wife and a separate one of my kids. I also always have a drawing or craft made by my kids hanging up.

But by far the most intriguing item I have in my space is my Funko Pop collection. The different characters, themes and colours allow me to stay in a place of creativity, freedom and fun!

Creative spaces aren’t just for graphic designers, animators or marketing professionals. They help us all stay productive and most of all promote mental wellness in our daily work lives.

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Personal Career Choices Are Just That, Personal

On the much anticipated ESPN documentary about the championship season for the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, it was revealed how heavily one player was underpaid.

Scottie Pippen, who was famously known as ‘Robin’ to Michael Jordan’s ‘Batman’, had agreed to a multi-year contract early in his playing career.

When asked why he accepted such an undervalued contract, Pippen reflected back on the need to take care of his large family. Pippen grew up relatively poor and knew he finally had the means to provide for them, especially in the area of healthcare.

After his time with the Bulls Pippen would eventually sign a contract with another team that was more representative of the current market value.

It’s important to note that the decisions we make need to be based on our own personal situations and don’t need to necessarily reflect what’s happening in the marketplace. More money or compensation doesn’t always equate to a better decision or life.

Starting a business, or selling a business. Jumping into management or resigning for something less demanding. Accepting less money for less stress. All decisions are good ones if they are aligned with the internal building principles you live by.

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Autonomy Over Everything

Anyone can be an entreprenuer. But not everyone should pursue entreprenuership.

Social media has glamorized many things, most of all being an entrepreneur. The idea of not having any boss to answer to is of course appealing. But just like many things online we get sold just on side of the story. Driving sales, accounting, product development, marketing, networking, customer trouble shooting, IT and so much more goes into operating a successful business.

I think what some of you really want is autonomy. Read the following definition from Vocabulary.com:

When a group wants to govern itself or a person wants to make independent decisions, they are looking for autonomy. Autonomy comes from the Greek roots auto meaning “self” and nomos meaning “custom” or “law.” This reflects the political sense of the word — a group’s right to self-government or self-rule. When a person seeks autonomy, he or she would like to be able to make decisions independently from an authority figure.

You can experience this at a well-paying job. As a matter of fact, having autonomy in your career before you step out and run your own company is an advantage. You would have experienced what it’s like to work on your own, be personally responsible for your work and make decisions for your self.

Fubu founder and Shark Tank regular Daymond John has expressed on multiple occasions that contrary to what some people think he never quit his day job at Red Lobster to launch Fubu. He kept his well paying job until he was absolutely ready to make the full-time entrepreneurial jump.

If you have the itch to make the same jump, think to yourself if that’s what you really want right now. To be a business owner or have autonomy in your daily work. The latter is a real possibility without having to jump prematurely into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship.

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Your Career Elevation

There will come a time in your professional career when you will desire more. That ‘more’ looks different for everyone. It comes in the form of wanting better compensation. Maybe a more challenging position. Possibly management. Or a whole entirely new field of work.

The journey for ‘more’ is often a lonely one. It’s rare to find someone who will guide you through the exact journey you need to take in order to get to your destination. And even when you do they’re usually around for only part of it.

In his book Instinct, T.D. Jakes breaks this down perfectly.

“Ultimately, this will require you to step out on your own more than follow in the footsteps of others. The higher you ascend on your own unique path, the fewer number of trailblazers ahead of you. Allowing your instincts to guide you will be lonely at times. Others, especially those committed to conformity and comfortable in their cages, may feel threatened as you venture out on your own.”

When you have aspirations to change or ascend, you’ll ultimately get questioned on your motives, possibly even your intelligence. Understand it’s part of the process. Elevating has never been easy, and for good reason. It allows you to appreciate the destination even more.

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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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