Friday, August 28, 2015

Have To vs Get To

You don’t have to do anything, you get to do things.

You get to make money being an artist.

You get to provide for your children so that they can experience the joy and character-building disciplines developed through sports, art, music, and dance classes.

You get to help set your kids up for success by investing in their college funds.

You get to cook nutritious meals for your family, helping them take care of their bodies and minds.

You get to workout and boost your energy, mood and productivity.

You get to visit the doctor so that you can live a little bit more comfortably than you would without medical care.

You get to help make the world a better place by adding good to the lives of others.

Your perspective may not change what goes on your to-do list, but it certainly transforms how those things get done.

Originally published January 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tell Your Story

I love people and I love people's stories. I love hearing them and I love telling them. If I am introducing someone to another person, you can often hear me saying, "They wouldn't tell you this about themselves, so I'll brag on them."  This is why social media is great — when it comes down to it, it's not about the technology or the next big thing, it's about sharing and connecting with other people. I believe that everyone has a story and that it's a story worth telling.

One of things I find in getting to know people is that the most fascinating parts of their stories (be it personal or career-related) often don't come up until later in a conversation. Then, they are often embarrassed to share it because they think of it as mundane. If it's an accomplishment, they are often reticent to share it because they don't want to come across as bragging.

This is a fair point and a valid area of concern, however as my friend and colleague Sean Low says, "a closed mouth gets no credibility." While there is certainly a fine line between arrogance and confidence as well as bragging and stating the facts, you won't get any business if you are keeping your story to yourself.

At the end of the day, people do business with people they like, regardless of the economy. You have a story and you are the best at being you. Tell the world.

Originally published February 2010

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Limitless Creativity

One of the fastest ways to limit your creativity is to behave as though your experiences represent everyone else’s.

“I had a terrible experience with this airline, therefore no one should fly them ever again.”

“I had a great experience at this restaurant, so everyone who says they’re treated rudely there must be high maintenance.”

“My millennial employee showed up late and snapchatted all day, therefore everyone in this generation has a weak work ethic.”

“I didn’t qualify for a college scholarship even though I was top of my class, so the educational system is a failure to everyone.”

“I’m not booking as many clients this year, so everyone who is “busy” must be lying or charging next to nothing.”

“But he was nice to me . . .”

The most creative people allow their perspectives to be challenged, are empathetic and choose not to harden their minds or hearts, and understand that their worldview is not the end-all and can always be broadened.

If you want to be more creative, you have to ask better questions and listen more deeply, both to those around you and to the stories of people outside your immediate circle of family and friends. And — more importantly — you have to allow that their side of a story may have a certain element of truth to it even if it doesn’t completely line up with how you’ve understood things to be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jealousy and Success

Some people will:

*Always be jealous that you work smarter and harder
*Find a way to excuse your success
*Tell others that you are just lucky or that other people are just blind
*Do everything they can to undercut you
*Pretend that what you are doing will not matter in the long run

Don't worry about these people. They're not the ones handing you their credit card.

Being awesome intimidates people. Be awesome anyway. As Marianne Williamson says, "There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you."

Originally published August 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Splendid Sundays Volume 193
Bridget + Rob  /  Photo: A Bryan Photo
A handful of splendid finds from around the worldwide web:

What your vacation says about you. "Those who left between 11 and 15 days unused were 6.5 percent less likely to receive a raise or bonus than those who used all their vacation days." [The New York Times]

The economics of coffee: people will pay 11-13% more for latte art. "It's a barista's job to make coffee appealing to the consumer. The chain behind them relies on baristas to communicate those things." [The Atlantic]

Scientists are crediting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for breakthroughs in research. "One year and more than $220 million in donations later, scientists at Johns Hopkins are claiming a major breakthrough in ALS research and are partly crediting the success to the massive influx of public interest." [The Washington Post]

8 books Warren Buffett tells millionaires to read. "He advises the would-be millionaire to become, when investing, an entrepreneur rather than a mere customer." [Inc. Magazine]

Industry news:

Blair deLaubenfels' (co-founder of Junebug Weddings) son passed away on August 14th from an accidental head injury. Christy Weber has set up a memorial fund if you'd like to support the family emotionally and financially.

Sunday Snapshot: Bridget + Rob
Photography: A Bryan Photo  /  Planning: Calder Clark  /  Floral: Blossoms Events  /  Venue: The Ford Plantation  /  Cake: Minette Rushing Custom Cakes  /  Music: Rupert's Orchestra, Sam Hill Entertainment  /  Tenting: Skyline Tent Company
See the full wedding and read their story at Snippet and Ink.