Things I’ve learned so far

I’m in a brainstormy mood tonight and decided to jot down things I’ve learned so far… Twenty was easy so I went to 30. Then I got to 33 which seemed like an odd number so I went to 35. The list was getting a little long but 35 seemed like a weird place to stop, so I rounded up to 40.

Thanks to all of my guides who are behind this list. Here we go. Continue reading

Wishing v. Working

When people tell you to “follow your passion,” it sounds so easy. “Just follow your passion and everything will turn out great.” Make a wish and it will come true. Right?

What you don’t hear is that it takes work to make your wishes come true.

I don’t want to downplay wishing. Dreaming big schemes is the first step to creating a new reality. But once you come up with a terrific vision, how do you get from “energy bubble” to “done?” Continue reading

Taking the first small step

I had a big, cool idea in the 1990s. I wanted to write a novel. I decided this at a crazy-bad time. I had two little kids at home and a demanding job. But I thought about writing all the time. I had to figure out a way to write a novel.

My first baby step was to make a list of novels I loved and characters I wanted to meet in real life. I gave myself a week to brainstorm all of my favorite books and characters.

Then I took another week to think about common threads. What appealed to me most in my favorite novels? And what types of characters was I most drawn to? Continue reading

Being grateful for the irritant

At the Good Life Project camp last weekend, founder Jonathan Fields did a talk on podcasting. We were chatting about what makes a great interview, and of course, it’s when the presenter has a good story. But a good story is rarely a story where everything goes right.

Why? Because:

  1. No one believes the presenter.
  2. There’s little emotion or take-away.
  3. We don’t tend to like a person who tells us everything in their life is perfect.

Jonathan gave the example of a person who says he grew up in a terrific family, got into a great school, and ended up in investment banking – only to find out he really, really loves investment banking. This may sound like a great life but it isn’t a great story. Continue reading

Get out of the briar patch

It’s so important in life to do what you say you’re going to do and to be fully committed. But if you feel your energy drain when you’re in your briar patch or even think about your briar patch, it might be time to get out.

The weird thing about briar patches is they’re not all that easy to get into – whether your briar patch is a job, a house, a relationship. You worked hard to get where you are! And we all like forward motion so the tendency is to keep moving, hoping that things will magically get better. Continue reading

Finding your tribe

Yesterday, I drove 4-1/2 hours to Presque Isle, Maine for a one-hour class. Then I drove home again.

Why? Because John Cariani, a Broadway actor and author of the #1 most rented show in 2016, Almost Maine, was teaching a Master Class in writing. I knew I wouldn’t learn a lot in an hour of teaching, but I wanted to make the connection because John is part of the tribe I like to hang with.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten as an entrepreneur is to find other people who do what you do and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you like someone’s blog, read it, comment on it, and engage with the author at a conversational level. If you want to act, find other actors and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you want to write, join an association of writers or find people in your area who write and ask if they want to get together to talk. Continue reading

The energy of passion

On our last day in St. Augustine, Florida, my sister, niece and I stumbled on a textile shop that felt like it came directly out of the 17oos. The shop featured historically accurate clothing, leather shoes, bags, wooden games, and mock guns. It was a delight to all senses.

My sister asked the proprietor a simple question: “How’d you get started with this shop?” And that’s when the passion energy started to flow. Continue reading