Productive Flourishing http://www.productiveflourishing.com we help people start finishing the stuff that matters Wed, 27 May 2015 23:56:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Is Your Lack of Motivation a Red Alert or a False Alarm? http://www.productiveflourishing.com/lack-motivation-red-alert-signal-eat-peanuts/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/lack-motivation-red-alert-signal-eat-peanuts/#respond Wed, 27 May 2015 19:34:49 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23022 Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Pace Smith, The Pathfinding Coach. Are you feeling unmotivated? That might be a red alert, signaling that you are off your path and that you must make a change immediately. On the other hand, it might be a false alarm, signaling that you need to, like, eat […]

The post Is Your Lack of Motivation a Red Alert or a False Alarm? appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Pace Smith, The Pathfinding Coach.

Are you feeling unmotivated? That might be a red alert, signaling that you are off your path and that you must make a change immediately. On the other hand, it might be a false alarm, signaling that you need to, like, eat some peanuts or something.

I’ve seen would-be Creative Giants turn away from their heart’s deepest calling because they mistook a false alarm for a red alert. I’ve seen would-be Creative Giants quit a career that could have been deeply fulfilling if only they had eaten a handful of peanuts.

I don’t want the same to happen to you, so listen up.

Here’s what a red alert looks like:

Once upon a time, Stephanie decided to follow her childhood dream of becoming an artist. Everything was great for a while, but then her motivation dried up. Day after day, she sat in her studio staring at the canvas, trying to summon up a spark of creativity.

When that failed, she wondered if she had chosen the wrong path. She feared that she wasn’t cut out for this. She doubted her worthiness as an artist.

She forced herself to paint anyway, and the painting was coming along nicely, but then she started painting faster, more roughly, more haphazardly, with angry strokes.

Stephanie took a step back and realized that she had completely ruined what would have been a perfectly good painting.

“Why did I do that?” she wondered aloud.

Here’s what a false alarm looks like:

Once upon a time, Brianne decided to follow her childhood dream of becoming an artist. Everything was great for a while, but then her motivation dried up. Day after day, she sat in her studio staring at the canvas, trying to summon up a spark of creativity. When that failed, she forced herself to paint anyway, but instead of jumpstarting her creative engine, it only created a big ugly mess.

She wondered if she had chosen the wrong path. She feared that she wasn’t cut out for this. She doubted her worthiness as an artist.

She took a break.

She went for a walk.

She called it an early night and got a good night’s rest.

And when she came back to her studio the next day, she saw how to turn yesterday’s big ugly mess into the beginning of something new and beautiful.

Here’s how to tell the difference:

The key tip-off to a red alert is self-sabotage. When Stephanie ruined her perfectly good painting, that was her heart acting out, trying to tell her that painting was not the right path for her.

Brianne’s unmotivation, on the other hand, was caused by the natural cycle of creativity and by needing some time and space to recharge.

If you’re continually sabotaging yourself in a way that feels a little bit out of control, maybe that’s not a flaw to be overcome. Maybe that’s your heart screaming, trying desperately to get you to listen.

If you’re still not sure which type of unmotivation you’re feeling, try this three-step checklist:

  1. Take a break, for longer than you think you need to.
  2. Take care of your body. Move. Eat. Sleep.
  3. Remind yourself why you care. Reconnect with your vitality.

If your unmotivation is a false alarm, one of these three things will fix it and you’ll start feeling motivated again. (Click here to share this post. Thanks!)

If you do all three of these things and you’re still feeling unmotivated, that’s a red alert. That’s your heart saying to you, “Hey! This is not the right thing for you. I’m trying to help you, but I can only help you if you listen to me. Please listen to me. I love you.”

About the author: Pace Smith (The Pathfinding Coach) helps sensitive, spiritual nonconformists live wild, crazy, meaningful lives. She’s also a teacher, a speaker, a writer, a Sufi dervish, a bi poly trans gamer geek, an open-source Reiki healer, and a tournament-level Dance Dance Revolution player. Download her free eBook, Find Your Path Now, to STOP living on autopilot and START living the wholehearted, unconventional life you were meant to live.

The post Is Your Lack of Motivation a Red Alert or a False Alarm? appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/lack-motivation-red-alert-signal-eat-peanuts/feed/ 0
Episode 31: Building Your Money Muscle with Joan Sotkin http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-31-building-your-money-muscle-with-joan-sotkin/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-31-building-your-money-muscle-with-joan-sotkin/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 18:02:05 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23179 Highlights of This Episode: Why Joan’s ostensibly successful business went under What’s behind many people’s financial problems Why business and marketing are really about connection Why it’s harder than ever to save money and to spend wisely Why smart people make “really stupid” decisions Why our relationship with money ends up being the dumping ground […]

The post Episode 31: Building Your Money Muscle with Joan Sotkin appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
Charlie Gilkey with Joan Sotkin

Highlights of This Episode:

  • Why Joan’s ostensibly successful business went under
  • What’s behind many people’s financial problems
  • Why business and marketing are really about connection
  • Why it’s harder than ever to save money and to spend wisely
  • Why smart people make “really stupid” decisions
  • Why our relationship with money ends up being the dumping ground for unexpressed feelings
  • Why it’s sometimes easier to manage debt than to manage savings

“Whatever you’re feeling about money has nothing to do with money.” –Joan Sotkin (Click to share – thanks!)

About Joan Sotkin:

Joan Sotkin is an author, coach, and businesswoman who has helped thousands of people understand why they do what they do with their money and how to alter their financial behaviors.

In the 1980s, Joan thought she was on the way to financial security as she rapidly built a wholesale, retail, and mail order business to the point where she was grossing over $30,000 a month. Her lack of business and financial skills led to her downfall—and bankruptcy.

This experience led Joan onto the path of learning everything she could about business and financial management. While attending 12-step programs, including Debtors Anonymous and Co-Dependents Anonymous, she began to understand the connection between emotions and the life stories we create for ourselves, including stories about our finances. Years of working to release her own repressed emotions helped deepen her understanding of how we act out family-of-origin issues through our businesses and finances.

Joan went on to start the popular website ProsperityPlace.com, and her book Build Your Money Muscles: Nine Simple Exercises for Improving Your Relationship with Money won two national awards.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Thanks for Listening!

Subscribe to The Creative Giant Show on iTunes to get all the latest episodes delivered straight to your preferred mobile device. This is the perfect option for listening to the show in the car, on the subway, or while you’re working out. Plus, you won’t have to fuss with figuring out how you’re going to listen.

If you’d prefer to get updated by email when there’s a new episode available, click the button below.

Get New Episode Updates by Email

And finally, please leave a review over on iTunes! iTunes recommends podcasts to other listeners based on popularity. The more reviews we get (good, fair, or bad), the more iTunes knows we’re saying something worth saying AND sharing. If you know someone who would enjoy listening to our conversations, please send them a quick email, text, or message in your preferred format introducing them to your favorite episode. We appreciate your willingness to spread the good stuff.

The post Episode 31: Building Your Money Muscle with Joan Sotkin appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-31-building-your-money-muscle-with-joan-sotkin/feed/ 0
Learn While You’re Doing http://www.productiveflourishing.com/learn-while-youre-doing/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/learn-while-youre-doing/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 21:26:19 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23166 Seth’s latest post You don’t know Lefsetz? was coming from the right place, but as I read it, I had a strong sense that it would shut down a lot of people. Here’s the ending: If you don’t know who the must-reads in your field are, find out before your customers and competitors do. Too much doing, […]

The post Learn While You’re Doing appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
Seth’s latest post You don’t know Lefsetz? was coming from the right place, but as I read it, I had a strong sense that it would shut down a lot of people.

Here’s the ending:

If you don’t know who the must-reads in your field are, find out before your customers and competitors do.

Too much doing, not enough knowing.

Yes, I have a bias toward action, but being on the other side of success and fame, I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of over-researching what everyone else is doing to the effect that you don’t actually get started. (I did this with the Creative Giant Show and the book I’m finishing.) And, to be fair, Seth didn’t say stop doing to focus on more knowing, but I “heard” quite a few people have their fears that they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing because they don’t know what they’re doing validated. Legions of people went to Google to type in “best [profession title]” to get their “more knowing” on.

Knowing the top players and trends in your industry is always good, but delaying your work because there just might be someone you don’t know about that you need to find out about can be just as bad. Better to err on doing something and being educated about what you don’t know than staying perennially stuck either researching (as a way of hiding) or getting caught in compare and despair land. (Doctors, engineers, generals, etc. are exceptions.)

Go for the middle path here:

  1. Before you start doing something new, plan on at least 4-6 hours of research so you get the lay of the land.
  2. Read 3-5 of the most popular books relevant to what you’re doing – no matter what you’re doing, there will be 3-5 books that will get you in the know.
  3. Make notes on what you need to learn for deeper diving, but, at that point, you should have enough to start swimming.
  4. Once you’re swimming, bake in some routine time to go back to shore to go over those notes for deeper diving and pay attention to how other people are swimming.

You’re always going to be surprised by something you didn’t know or somebody you didn’t know about and this is only going to happen more frequently in the future. There are simply too many people creating a bunch of stuff for most of us to keep up.

It’s absolutely right that there are people you should be familiar with in your industry. If you’re a business coach or consultant and don’t know who Peter Drucker is or what the Lean Startup trend is about, you’ve got some learning to do. Similarly, if you help people with productivity and aren’t familiar with David Allen and Stephen Covey, it’s time to hit the books. Anyone interested in business or productivity who followed the steps above would’ve come across those names and trends in about 15 minutes of research. Make necessary modifications for whatever you’re doing.

But please use the knowledge you gain to create and share something rather than as an excuse to stay on the bench while others are playing.

The post Learn While You’re Doing appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/learn-while-youre-doing/feed/ 0
Get Your Content to Work Harder for You Through Licensing http://www.productiveflourishing.com/get-content-work-harder-licensing/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/get-content-work-harder-licensing/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23116 Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Rachel Rodgers. Well, today is a treat because we’re going to talk about leveraging your intellectual property (loose translation: more bank in your tank). You’ve probably heard of all sorts of ways to extend your content to make it work harder for you. Books, courses, and events […]

The post Get Your Content to Work Harder for You Through Licensing appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Rachel Rodgers.

Well, today is a treat because we’re going to talk about leveraging your intellectual property (loose translation: more bank in your tank).

You’ve probably heard of all sorts of ways to extend your content to make it work harder for you. Books, courses, and events are natural ways to do this, but licensing is another way to get your content to work harder for you. (Think: more money, more time, and more influence; and, no, this is not a Ponzi scheme.)

But the ins-and-outs of licensing are an enigma — one of those things we have all heard of but don’t truly “get.” So let’s dive in and demystify the hell out of licensing.

In the abstract, licensing is a way for businesses to increase revenue and expand the reach of their creative work, without increasing workload and infrastructure. In practical terms, “licensing” describes a situation in which a business wants to rent (i.e., license) its intellectual property to another company for a limited use and, often, a limited time frame. The licensing business (the Licensor) retains ownership over its intellectual property, while the business who received the license (the Licensee) uses that intellectual property (for an agreed-upon purpose) to generate revenue and tosses a pretty solid amount of that money back to the Licensor.

Since legalese is hard for everyone to remember, just remember that licensing is a way for you to rent your ideas to someone else. (Click here to tweet this – thank you!)

For example, licensing is used quite often with sports and movie/TV show paraphernalia. Remember all of those Frozen sleeping bags, towels, pajamas, bedsheets, sippy cups, etc. that your son/daughter/niece/nephew amassed last year over the holidays? Yep, those glittery goodies are quite certainly the product of a licensing deal. (You have “Let it Go” playing in your head now, don’t you? Don’t worry. It’ll pass.)

The same goes for all those mouse pads, keychains, laptop cases, and coffee mugs you see stamped with the logo of your favorite (or someone else’s favorite) sports team. In those situations, Walt Disney and the NFL (or the specific teams) rent the right to use their logos and images to makers of shirts, hats, sleeping bags, etc. Those licensee companies then make mass quantities of the licensed goods, sell them, and pay royalties to Walt Disney and the NFL.

All the while, Elsa and Tom Brady just sit back, combing their golden locks, working on their fitness, and watching the dollars roll in.

You might be thinking, “That’s really super for Elsa and Tom, but where’s the me in all this?” I was just about to get to that: the great news is that licensing isn’t just for cartoon sleeping bags and football coffee mugs. Licensing is a totally viable and totally lucrative option for coaches as well. Coaching is a service that is high in demand and depends heavily on content, but not every newbie coach (or even experienced coach) is willing or able to put in the time to create original content to use with their clients, at their events, etc. That’s where you come in.

If you’ve built a strong brand, with solid content, that’s really valuable stuff in the licensing market. Other coaches will be willing to pay you fees to rent your content for use in their own practice. The best part is that you can license content you already have. Think about all of that intellectual property that you have just sitting around collecting dust — infographics, worksheets, course curricula that you no longer use, etc. Why not spruce up those puppies, package them, and let others benefit from your brilliance?

If the whole licensing thing feels like shady territory, trust me, it really isn’t. Licensing arrangements are governed by contracts, so you have the freedom to choose what you license, for how long, and for what purpose, and you always maintain ownership over your intellectual property (because you’ve registered your copyrights and trademarks, right? RIGHT?). You can also have control over the marketing and other visual aspects of the licensed products, if you choose. And of course, you decide to whom you license your material. So, if you take the time to vet a potential licensee, and you aren’t convinced that he or she will be true to your brand image or uphold your level of quality, you can decline the licensing arrangement.

As with all things legal, there is much more to setting up a licensing program or deal than what we’ve covered here. But if you want to get started down the path to licensing, doing an intellectual property audit is a great place to start. What’s that you say? You don’t know how to do an IP audit? Never fear! There’s a worksheet for that. Download my Intellectual Property Audit Worksheet to get started right here.

Rachel Rodgers is the founder of Rachel Rodgers Law Office, which works with digital entrepreneurs and small business owners to anticipate and protect the legal needs of their businesses. Rachel has been featured in and contributed to various media outlets and publications, such as Fast Company, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Forbes Woman, and the American Express OPEN Forum. She is also the author of  Small Business Bodyguard: Cover Your Bases, Cover Your Assets, Cover Your Ass, a business law guide for entrepreneurs.

The post Get Your Content to Work Harder for You Through Licensing appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/get-content-work-harder-licensing/feed/ 0
Episode 30: Advancing Craftsmanship with Breanne Dyck http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-30-advancing-craftsmanship-with-breanne-dyck/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-30-advancing-craftsmanship-with-breanne-dyck/#respond Tue, 19 May 2015 17:55:22 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23130 Highlights of This Episode: How an unexpected email made Breanne realize that she could make courses and start helping people What Breanne did to overcome her aversion to taking risks and experimenting Why the “hack first” mentality is actually making us less effective How perfectionism and the curse of expertise are keeping us from being […]

The post Episode 30: Advancing Craftsmanship with Breanne Dyck appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
Charlie Gilkey with Breanne Dyck (1)

Highlights of This Episode:

  • How an unexpected email made Breanne realize that she could make courses and start helping people
  • What Breanne did to overcome her aversion to taking risks and experimenting
  • Why the “hack first” mentality is actually making us less effective
  • How perfectionism and the curse of expertise are keeping us from being more effective and prolific teachers
  • Why you have to let go of your expertise to become a better expert
  • How the pursuit of craftsmanship and excellence is always a pursuit worth doing

“The truth is, stuff isn’t always going to be easy.” –Breanne Dyck (Click to share – thanks!)

About Breanne Dyck:

Breanne Dyck is a strategist, coach, and consultant who helps microbusinesses grow their revenues and their impact by applying the principles of adult learning.

While others focus on online marketing, instructional design, business strategy, or product development, Breanne’s expertise brings them all seamlessly together, resulting in a uniquely personalized, results-based approach. Her clients are speakers, authors, coaches, consultants, and other microbusiness owners who want to be known for achieving world-class results for their businesses and their customers.

Breanne has consulted on flagship products and programs, CreativeLive courses, live events, and workshops for thought leaders, including New York Times bestselling author Chris Guillebeau and Amazon bestselling authors Natalie Sisson and Tara Gentile.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Thanks for Listening!

Subscribe to The Creative Giant Show on iTunes to get all the latest episodes delivered straight to your preferred mobile device. This is the perfect option for listening to the show in the car, on the subway, or while you’re working out. Plus, you won’t have to fuss with figuring out how you’re going to listen.

If you’d prefer to get updated by email when there’s a new episode available, click the button below.

Get New Episode Updates by Email

And finally, please leave a review over on iTunes! iTunes recommends podcasts to other listeners based on popularity. The more reviews we get (good, fair, or bad), the more iTunes knows we’re saying something worth saying AND sharing. If you know someone who would enjoy listening to our conversations, please send them a quick email, text, or message in your preferred format introducing them to your favorite episode. We appreciate your willingness to spread the good stuff.

The post Episode 30: Advancing Craftsmanship with Breanne Dyck appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-30-advancing-craftsmanship-with-breanne-dyck/feed/ 0
Less Is More Applies to Conferences, Too http://www.productiveflourishing.com/less-is-more-applies-to-conferences-too/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/less-is-more-applies-to-conferences-too/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 05:58:13 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23142 I was at the Authority Rainmaker Conference today and it’s been a great conference. The speakers have delivered insightful ideas and, even better, have made their presentations relevant to the context of the audience. You’d think it would be a given that speakers would do that, but alas, that’s not always the case. As I […]

The post Less Is More Applies to Conferences, Too appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
I was at the Authority Rainmaker Conference today and it’s been a great conference. The speakers have delivered insightful ideas and, even better, have made their presentations relevant to the context of the audience. You’d think it would be a given that speakers would do that, but alas, that’s not always the case.

As I was listening to the presenters, I was also watching other attendees furiously taking notes in their computers and notebooks. It was as if the words being spoken were the last bit of oxygen people had available – they wanted to take it all in.

When I see this happen, I always wonder how effective a practice it is. There’s no exam at the end of the conference, and what I’ve more often seen is that people get even more overwhelmed by all of the great ideas they have that either they don’t know how to execute or they then need to sort through later (someday/maybe alert!) when they have a chance to process everything they’ve absorbed. And they’re taxed at the end of all of the content, and then dive headlong into interacting with more people than our forebears met in a year.

What I’ve learned since I left school is that it’s far more effective (for me) to instead be actively listening, reading, or watching to see what might apply to me. It turns out that two or three ideas per presentation, webinar, or book is all I need and all I can actually do anything with, anyway (for most presentations, webinars, or books).

So, rather than hanging on every great word Chris Brogan said, I’m now thinking about how I can better implement content upgrades and trusting that the resources I’m converting in non-converting media fit into the fold the way I hope they do.

Dan Pink has me thinking about how I can use interrogative questions to improve my pre-performance rehearsals. And that it’s time for me to re-read Cialdini’s Influence. (By the way, Cialdini’s book is one of those that merit being reread every other year or so.)

Jerod Morris has me thinking about how to amplify the authenticity of the Creative Giant Show, which is probably getting me closer to actually adding solo riffs as part of the format.

Sonia Simone has me thinking about experimenting with how I ask you to take the next action on my landing pages.

At the end of the conference, I’ll have 10–15 ideas I’ll need to follow up on, and because I’ve chunked so few concepts from each person, a quick look at the conference agenda will usually trigger those ideas. In a nice touch, the Copyblogger Media team designed their nametag/agenda books to have some white space at the end of them, so it’ll be handy to drop those takeaways there and process them on the way home.

The trick to conferences is finding the right balance of content consumption and authentic connection with the people you meet; at a deeper level, this is about managing cognitive and social loads. Attempting to capture everything is about as effective as trying to meet everyone. In almost all cases, I’ve been better served by listening for the 10–15 ideas that are relevant to what I’m working on and leaning into the moments that will develop stronger relationships with the 10–15 people with whom I want to be in community.

Which is all a long way of saying that less is more in conferences, too.

The post Less Is More Applies to Conferences, Too appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/less-is-more-applies-to-conferences-too/feed/ 2
How to Work on Multiple Long-Term Creative Projects at Once http://www.productiveflourishing.com/how-to-work-on-multiple-long-term-creative-projects-at-once/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/how-to-work-on-multiple-long-term-creative-projects-at-once/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 05:38:29 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23103 My good friend Jonathan Fields asked the following question on Facebook: Creative effectiveness Q – Let’s say you have 2 distinct creative projects. Both are long-term and will take months to complete. Do you: a) Do one for X hours a day, then the other for Y hours a day, or b) Do one for […]

The post How to Work on Multiple Long-Term Creative Projects at Once appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
My good friend Jonathan Fields asked the following question on Facebook:

Creative effectiveness Q – Let’s say you have 2 distinct creative projects. Both are long-term and will take months to complete. Do you:
a) Do one for X hours a day, then the other for Y hours a day, or
b) Do one for a full day, then the other on alternating days?
Or something else?
Experimenting with this now, curious what works for you.

I answered it briefly there, but I wanted to answer it here at length.

First, you might expect me to push back against working on two distinct creative projects at once, but you’d be wrong. Actively working on two or three long-term projects at once can prevent the stuck points, boredom, and general life-hating aspects of working on one monolithic project until it’s completed. Similarly, doing one long-term project alongside short-term, finishable projects can help keep your momentum going. Cross-pollination can add depth and new insight to both projects, and the momentum from making progress on shorter projects helps you avoid the feeling that you’re never going to be through with the long-term project.

So, with the two options proposed — and assuming a predictable schedule — I’d go with (and recommend) A.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Daily momentum is easier to maintain than sporadic progress and tends to enhance prolificness. From a mathematical point of view, writing 2,000 words every other day is equivalent to writing 1,000 words every day. From an experiential point of view, they’re not at all the same thing.
  2. Many long-term projects need about as much active downtime for incubation and reflection as they do active uptime spent developing them. Our minds have a way of working out one problem subconsciously while we’re working on another project consciously.
  3. Option A facilitates realistic chunking better than Option B. Most people tend to be overly optimistic about what they’ll actually get done in a day because they’re assuming that more time will equal more creative progress, when the reality is that you’ll still have the same 4–6 peak creative hours regardless of how much time you have allocated for the day. Jonathan has been cultivating his creative mojo long enough that he’ll be able to have four creative blocks per day, so he can allocate two 90-minute blocks per day per project. You’d be really surprised at what you can do in a focused block.
  4. Given #3, I’ve observed (in myself, friends, and clients) that the time remaining in a day that’s outside of peak creative time is spent screen-sucking or force-working because that time was scheduled to be “working on important stuff.” It’s much harder to quit at 2:30 when you’re spent if you’ve set the intention that you’re going to be creating until 4, but the best thing you could do is likely to quit working at 2:30, allow yourself to recharge, and come back if you’re inspired. When you know you need to switch projects the next day, it can be really hard to truly let go, in which case the story starts sapping more energy than the work.

When you work on more than three long-term projects at once, it starts to get hairy when it comes to momentum because there just isn’t enough creative time to go around. One of the hardest parts about long-term creative projects is that they’re hard to pick up once they’ve gone cold, so juggling more than three inevitably means that you’ll spend more time ramping up than being in the groove. I don’t have any useful suggestions for how to work on that many projects at once besides to avoid it as much as possible, which normally means deciding which projects you’re going to put down so you can finish the ones that are nearer to done.

Obviously, if you’ve tried both methods and you know the opposite works better for you, do what works for you.

The post How to Work on Multiple Long-Term Creative Projects at Once appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/how-to-work-on-multiple-long-term-creative-projects-at-once/feed/ 2
Episode 29: Building an Inspiring Tomorrow with Valerie Groth http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-29-building-an-inspiring-tomorrow-with-valerie-groth/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-29-building-an-inspiring-tomorrow-with-valerie-groth/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 18:01:00 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23053 Highlights of This Episode: Catalytic moments that pulled Val out of the nervous, fearful shell she had as a child and young adult Why Val loved being a social worker in inner-city schools — and why she eventually left that job to become a life coach How she got past the mindset of finding it […]

The post Episode 29: Building an Inspiring Tomorrow with Valerie Groth appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
1.TheCreativeGiant-Valerie Groth

Highlights of This Episode:

  • Catalytic moments that pulled Val out of the nervous, fearful shell she had as a child and young adult
  • Why Val loved being a social worker in inner-city schools — and why she eventually left that job to become a life coach
  • How she got past the mindset of finding it difficult to charge for her services
  • What lights Val up about the coaching work she does
  • Why she started the Ryan Banks Academy
  • How she balances her coaching business and the academy
  • Which path she’d choose, and why, if she had to focus on just one of those areas
  • What lessons she has learned from starting RBA

“There comes a point where you have to stop doing the research and just get out there and take action.” –Valerie Groth (Click to share – thanks!)

About Valerie Groth:

Before entering the world of entrepreneurship, Valerie Groth was a social worker in the inner-city schools of Chicago. Her dual Master’s degrees in Social Work and Educational Leadership helped her work with students in crisis, providing individual and group counseling services to students dealing with abuse, neglect, violence, hunger, and mental illness. She also arranged immediate psychiatric hospitalization for students who were suicidal or homicidal.

After her work with students in crisis, Val started the life coaching practice she currently runs. She works with clients around the world on overcoming fear, gaining self confidence, and making massive positive transformations in their lives. Valerie also hosts the Inspiration With Val podcast, which features inspirational interviews with individuals from all walks of life, ranging from millionaire entrepreneurs to cancer survivors to award winning authors and pro athletes. The podcast, which is a top-ranked podcast on iTunes, has received over 140,000 unique downloads per month from listeners in more than 130 countries.

Val’s newest project is to build Chicago’s first boarding school for inner-city students. The Ryan Banks Academy (named after one of her former students who was shot and killed) will open its doors in time for the 2018–2019 school year. It seeks to affect the lives of students through a rigorous college and career preparatory education, a supportive boarding program, and a focus on personal development in a positive environment.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Thanks for Listening!

Subscribe to The Creative Giant Show on iTunes to get all the latest episodes delivered straight to your preferred mobile device. This is the perfect option for listening to the show in the car, on the subway, or while you’re working out. Plus, you won’t have to fuss with figuring out how you’re going to listen.

If you’d prefer to get updated by email when there’s a new episode available, click the button below.

Get New Episode Updates by Email

And finally, please leave a review over on iTunes! iTunes recommends podcasts to other listeners based on popularity. The more reviews we get (good, fair, or bad), the more iTunes knows we’re saying something worth saying AND sharing. If you know someone who would enjoy listening to our conversations, please send them a quick email, text, or message in your preferred format introducing them to your favorite episode. We appreciate your willingness to spread the good stuff.

The post Episode 29: Building an Inspiring Tomorrow with Valerie Groth appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/episode-29-building-an-inspiring-tomorrow-with-valerie-groth/feed/ 2
The Power of the Right Question at the Right Time http://www.productiveflourishing.com/right-question/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/right-question/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 06:25:16 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23095 On May 1st, the blogging project from April ended and I had to choose between continuing to publish daily or going back to the way I was writing before. This was a challenging decision in some ways because of how much time and pressure the daily publishing added to my day and because, though some […]

The post The Power of the Right Question at the Right Time appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
On May 1st, the blogging project from April ended and I had to choose between continuing to publish daily or going back to the way I was writing before. This was a challenging decision in some ways because of how much time and pressure the daily publishing added to my day and because, though some data was available about how well it was working, it was inconclusive at best. I could get answers to a lot of questions, but those answers weren’t the right ones to be asking.

For example, only about 2.5% of my active readers decided to follow along with the daily posts, which meant that, for the most part, traffic per post was significantly lower than one would expect based upon our total readership. If I were looking for low-hanging fruit to pick, it didn’t at all seem that keeping up with daily blogging was the way to go, based on near-term data.

At the same time, what was encouraging was that the amount of feedback I was getting per post, both backchannel and online, had increased. That 2.5% of readers were reading, writing, and engaging. When I took a look at who they were, they were either long-time supporters or people who most love what I do. I’m not at all implying that the 97.5% of people who weren’t reading daily weren’t supporters and champions, as I’m quite aware that getting email from me every day is too much for a lot of people.

Had I continued to slice data, I would’ve come up with a bunch of splits and hedges. As I discussed it with the team, it became increasingly clear that data was not going to help with this decision.

Moving Beyond Data

A default question that I ask when there is no data or poor data is “what would you do if you couldn’t fail?” or its sister, “what would you do if you would automatically be successful?” Those questions usually do a lot of work in breaking up mindset logjams, but in this case, they weren’t getting me anywhere because I had to more clearly define what success meant. My gut said that most of my definitions of success (during that week) would overlook the very reasons I wanted to start and continue blogging daily.

The question that made it immediately clear what I should do was “what would I do if the outcome didn’t matter?” Since the question is ambiguously worded, I don’t mean what would I do if what I was doing didn’t generate some impact, but rather, what would I do if I weren’t considering what the outcome of my work might be, especially when it comes to which specific marketing metrics might change.

The force of the question made me take seriously the fact that I don’t know where this trail might lead and that there’s more that you take away from my work than I’ll ever see. But what I do know is that showing up every day (by which I now mean every day that I’m not sick, off the grid, or intentionally on break) fuels my creative fire and takes the most advantage of the precious opportunity to share and learn with you, at the same time that it makes my life operationally easier. No editorial calendars, no remembering which day I need to have something ready to publish, no pressure that each post I write will light you up, because there’s always tomorrow’s idea or a better refinement of today’s idea.

To be clear, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with any of those and I’m not at all recommending that people follow my lead here. All of those aspects played some part in getting me to here, and here is a good spot in many ways. But I’ve been saying since at least 2012 that I wanted to get more art, soul, and consistency back into my blogging, and what I was doing wasn’t moving me further ahead on that.

I wanted a different result, so I had to go with a different approach. That approach required a leap, but most of the stuff worth doing does anyway.

As odd as it may sound, I do some of my best creative work when my well is a quarter full, but it takes only about three days for it to fill back up and I never can see my big hits coming — they generally come from an idea or phrase that I mention in passing but that then takes on a life of its own. Both of those patterns create a strong bias toward daily publishing.

The Power of the Right Question at the Right Time

The power of the right question at the right time is that it can shake fixed thinking that may be leading to the same old options. Looking back, it’s easy to see that I had a deeper, more important goal to become a better writer/thinker/leader than I did to increase metrics. The two goals are rarely mutually exclusive, and it’s easy for the latter to prevent the former.

I’m sharing all of this for two reasons: 1) to answer some of the questions I’ve gotten about it and 2) to give you a few more questions to help you shake things up when it’s your turn.

The post The Power of the Right Question at the Right Time appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/right-question/feed/ 1
What to Do If You’re Feeling Scattered http://www.productiveflourishing.com/feeling-scattered/ http://www.productiveflourishing.com/feeling-scattered/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 06:48:16 +0000 http://www.productiveflourishing.com/?p=23045 Clients and other creatives I run into often tell me that they’re feeling scattered. Over the years, I’ve seen three different ways people are scattered, so I’ve learned to ask a few questions to see what’s at play: Are the projects you’re working on taking you where you want to go, or not? Do you […]

The post What to Do If You’re Feeling Scattered appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
Clients and other creatives I run into often tell me that they’re feeling scattered. Over the years, I’ve seen three different ways people are scattered, so I’ve learned to ask a few questions to see what’s at play:

  1. Are the projects you’re working on taking you where you want to go, or not?
  2. Do you feel like you’re bouncing around from project to project but aren’t really spending enough time on any given one?
  3. Do you have a general plan for the day, or are you reacting to whatever comes up?

The cause of feeling scattered in each case is different, so the solution needs to be different.

In the first case, you’re scattered because your projects aren’t aligned with your goals. Either you don’t know what you’re out to do (so don’t know what not to do), or you know what you’re out to do but aren’t doing what it’ll take to get there. Resolving this kind of scatter is a matter of goal-setting, planning, and taking action on the plan.

In the second case, you’re scattered due to a lack of time and project management. Time management problems are really priority management problems, though, so the way ahead here is making time to make time, specifically focusing on chaining enough two-hour blocks to make some progress on your projects. Those blocks aren’t going to make themselves.

In the last case, you’re scattered because you’re working reactively rather than proactively. This is especially easy to do if you process email before you review your weekly or monthly plan to get perspective on the day. The 10/15 Split can help out a lot here because it makes getting a start on the day a matter of looking at the plan that you made for yourself at the end of yesterday, after you got some perspective on the work.

Obviously, it’s possible to be scattered in any and all combinations of these scatter modes, and you can have degrees of scattered; it’s not like you’re either completely focused or completely unfocused. The world of creative work, as bright and colorful as it is, has a lot of grey in it. If you’re facing multiple kinds of scatter, you’ll probably need to work backwards from the way I’ve listed them above because, though having a good high-level view of where you’re going will serve you best, you’ll have to step away from reactivity (#3) and plan a chunk of time (#2) to get goal-project alignment (#1).

The next time you’re feeling scattered, I hope this post helps you get as focused as you need to be to get some momentum going.

Are you the sharing type? Click here to share this with others and help them get focused on what matters. (Thanks!)

The post What to Do If You’re Feeling Scattered appeared first on Productive Flourishing.

]]>
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/feeling-scattered/feed/ 2