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Category: Monologues

Fresh Routine or Day-Old Poutine? (GWTW603)

I love routines. I used to get up early, read for several hours, write and gather my thoughts for years. Then two weeks ago, my established and well-worn routine crumbled to pieces as my wife and I welcomed a new member into our family: Cosmo, The Wonder Pug. He doesn’t care about my need to read and write. He wants to eat, poop, play, and sleep. Quickly we learned that puppies need structure. As we planned his days, I realized just how much my routine required a reset. It had become a disgusting pile of day-old poutine leftovers.

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Recalibrating Success (GWTW602)

Last week, several friends got together to talk about success and career development. I was invited to participate but couldn’t attend due to an appointment, but I’ve been thinking about the question, “What is success to me?” since then. I didn’t feel I had much to offer at the moment. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have traditional notions of success anymore. Maybe it’s just that I don’t feel successful or even deserve success. But I think it’s more that I have outdated definitions of success. In today’s monologue episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to share a few thoughts, stories, and ideas about what success is to me today versus 25 years ago when I was starting my career.

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Forgotten Loves (GWTW598)

It’s been a week full of reminders of past loves. At times, I was reliving distant memories from the pre-pandemic days, and other times, seeing the echoes of dreams lost in the passage of time. From travel, chasing down photo opportunities in the desert of Arizona, and meeting my brother, to listening to everyday people telling stories about their lives and impacting the community through their service, I felt the rekindling fire of what I once loved to do. And it felt refreshing as I continue my creative journey into the future. What are the forgotten and forsaken loves you’ve left behind in your creative journey?

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Make Something Worth Finding (GWTW596)

I’ve been thinking about two practices lately: making and discovering. At first, I thought they were two different ideas, but I’ve come to understand that they rely upon one another. The chance of being discovered increases as you create, and the more you make—especially something worth finding—the more likely it will be found. So many people I know want the right strategy before putting in the work, but I argue that the best approach is to work. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I will explore what it takes to make something worth finding and why discovery is the hidden skill of the 21st-century.

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Aspirational Hoarders (GWTW594)

Hello, my name is Chris Martin, and I have a confession to make: I am a hoarder. But not in the way you might be thinking. I am an aspirational hoarder. I collect all of the labels of who I want to be and what I want to do. From the earliest dreams to the weird, early-morning fantasies of living off the land, I don’t want to eliminate anything that could define who I am. So, I call myself a multi-hyphenate and feel better about the fact that I can’t let go of the past or accept that some dreams have run their course. Fortunately, I don’t think I’m the only one.

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The Gradient Ascent of Life (GWTW592)

I can’t stop thinking about a concept I read in Dark Horse: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment by Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas. It’s called the gradient ascent. Instead of looking at the destination and plowing straight ahead, no matter what, you proceed until you need to recalibrate your direction. And change accordingly. I’m not sure why this has freed my thinking this week, but something feels different. And that change is showing up in expected places, from my mind and body to my bookshelves and living space.

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Learning to Let Go (GWTW590)

As I reflect on life, business, and everything in-between, I recognize I’ve let too much head trash accumulate to the point of overflow. I’ve been raising the flag of surrender, talking with friends and professionals, and bringing in the bulldozers to make piles, sort and organize, off-load, and burn. Metaphorically, of course. Living a creative life, running a business, being a good person, all of these pursuits take a toll on each of us; that’s why we need to learn to let go of the stories that are no longer serving us. In this episode, I’ll share a few that I’m learning to let go of, hoping you can identify a few for you.

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Do Your Thing! (GWTW588)

One of my favorite questions to ask people and reflect upon myself is: What advice would you give your younger self? While it’s a question that reveals a future direction by examining past decisions, it sometimes isn’t enough to get you out of a rut. As I was thinking about the question today, I felt a variation bubble up from the recesses of my mind: What advice is your younger self giving you today? Like most of us, I often lose my way, and it is the wisdom of past experiences that are the best teachers, so it’s time for me to pay attention.

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Practice Makes Perfect? (GWTW586)

As this month’s theme of practice comes to an end, I want to reflect on the following question: Why do you practice? Perhaps you’re like me and were indoctrinated as a young child with the phrase, “practice makes perfect.” It’s a simple statement with profound consequences over a person’s lifetime. To be perfect, or said another way, the best, you must devote yourself to daily practice. You must sacrifice everything you have. But what if there is more to practice than perfection? I think there is, and chances are, you believe that too.

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Practice Becoming Performance (GWTW584)

When I was thinking about the theme of practice, the first thing I wrote down was the connection and confusion between it and performance. With social media and digital technology keeping us connected to everyone and everything 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s no wonder we have turned every possible moment into a stage. But non-stop performance is exhausting and unsustainable. What could we become if we took even an hour of our day and stopped performing and started practicing? What if we took a break from brand management and tried something new? What if we stopped playing the hits on repeat and created something new, something daring and bold?

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Practice Your Process (GWTW582)

Continuing the monthly theme of practicing your creativity, today I’m exploring how practice defines an entire creative process while simultaneously shaping each step uniquely. I’ll share a few examples and set you up with all you need to define your process and specify what you should practice next. Whether you’re new to creativity or an established professional, nothing will shake up your work quite like practice.

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Deep Dive into Practice (GWTW580)

This month on Getting Work To Work, I’m focusing each monologue on one theme: practice. I’ve been thinking a lot about practice each day as I play my guitar. Even though I’ve been playing for 27 years, my fingers have minds of their own. Practicing scales and exercises make sense with the guitar, but what does practice look like in other parts of my creative life? What does it look like in your creative pursuits? In this episode, I will set the stage for practice and do a deep dive into what it is, why it’s essential, and why it isn’t as popular as it should be.

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Screw It…Still Do It! (GWTW578)

As we wrap up 2021, fully immersed in the fog known as the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I was thinking about words of wisdom to share with you. Nearing 600 episodes of Getting Work To Work, what’s left to say? How can I inspire aspiring content creators? How can I encourage the hardened cynics who have been at this game longer than I have? In the spirit of episode one of this show: screw it…still do it!

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7 Important Lessons in 43 Years (GWTW576)

Today, I’m celebrating my 43rd trip around the sun, so I thought I’d take a moment to share a few things I’ve learned in my time here on planet Earth. Seven important lessons, to be exact. No matter how young or old you are, I hope that something I say helps you take a step or two toward the creative projects and ideas of your dreams. As one of the beautiful lyrics from the musical RENT proclaims, “No day but today.” Let’s get into it!

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Blow Up Your Creative Process (GWTW572)

Lately, I have been immersed in the creative process: exploring my own and talking to other creators about theirs. And in doing so, I’ve realized that I am way too comfortable and need to blow it all up. Sure, it’s scary to consider the business ramifications of doing that, but what are my clients actually buying? Stale solutions with an efficient system or courageous content that willingly touches the edge of the unknown? It’s in the rubble of the creative process that you can reconnect with intuition, vision, speed, and the visceral nature of creativity.

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5 People I’m Thankful For, Pt. 2 (GWTW570)

Last week, I shared five people I am thankful for, but as I listed person after person, I realized I would need additional episodes to share all the people I’m grateful for and how they’ve impacted my life. So, today I’m sharing five more people and how you can be inspired by their work as well. If you haven’t taken the time to list out the people you are thankful for, do it. Then take a moment to let them know just how they’ve made your life better. December is also an excellent month to reach out to your favorite artists and content creators to show them your appreciation.

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5 People I’m Thankful For, Pt. 1 (GWTW568)

I was feeling a little discouraged yesterday. Unsure of what my monologue would be about, I was ready to pull the plug on monologues through the end of the year. But inspiration struck as I watched my wife get an idea for her YouTube channel, film, edit, and then release a video by the end of the day. I saw her drive, passion, and care for her growing audience. I remembered the early days of this podcast. It’s not to say that I don’t have those same feelings five years later, but producing content week after week can be exhausting. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m going to share five people I’m thankful for and the impact they have had on this show and my life.

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Stuck in Your Creative Ways (GWTW566)

I love the creative process, especially when it’s fresh and new. The beautiful and frustrating moments of understanding a craft as you develop a repeatable system that transforms raw thoughts and ideas into some finished form. But over time, as you become more skillful in your work, your process becomes internalized and habitual. Before you know it, you’re on autopilot. This episode is for those running their creative lives on autopilot and who need more. It’s not a question of whether you’re stuck in your creative ways. You know you are; you can feel it. It’s simply a matter of how aware you are of the depth and necessity for expanding your creative vision and process.

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Let the Goal Go? (GWTW562)

For the past two years, I have kept a reading list of all the books I’ve finished. My goal in 2020 was to finish 120 books, which meant I should read about ten books a month. I hit 121 books on December 31, 2020. This year, I’m on track to finish closer to 130. Before you think this episode is a flex about how many books I read—which it totally is—it’s really about goal setting. Specifically, what happens when you stop obsessing over goals and let things happen naturally.

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A Dose of Encouragement (GWTW558)

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a good friend—Hey Kim!—and felt encouraged and empowered to keep producing this show and all the other work I find myself obsessively pursuing. As the creative entrepreneurs listening can attest to, it can be challenging to find the motivation to do the next episode, task, or project, especially when it comes to passion projects. Doubt can creep in: Is anyone paying attention? Does anyone care? In this episode, I wanted to do something a bit different and provide a dose of encouragement for anyone who needs to hear it.

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Is It Time to Take a Break? (GWTW556)

I begin today’s episode with a rhetorical question: Is it time to take a break? If you’re listening to a podcast called Getting Work To Work, you probably could use an extended break. You’re hard-working, pushing yourself to learn and grow, and creating the future. But when faced with the decision to take time off—or even go to bed—you instead dig in and do more work, all to the detriment of your future self. In this episode, I’m going to explore the fears and anticipations of taking an extended break from your work.

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How Do You Measure Success? (GWTW554)

I’ve been thinking a lot about success: what it is, where it’s present, and how to measure it. Looking back over the show’s history, I haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting on success in the popular sense of the word. I don’t subscribe to or share the methodologies and frameworks that promise followers, likes, influence, and 7-figure paychecks. But as I take the time to understand what success is for me, I see it showing up time and again: purpose and meaning. If you struggle to find and measure success for your life and work, this episode is for you.

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Dreams and Visions (GWTW546)

What dreams are you devoting the remaining time of your life on planet Earth to bring into being? What is your vision for your work and community? How will you know what the right thing to pursue is? Nothing but big questions as I explore dreams and visions. You can probably tell a lot about my state of mind by the books I’m reading. Lately, the theme is all about big dreams of a better future. As I apply what I’m reading to my life and work, I start to see a transformation take place. My intuition is daily sharpened, my discernment is taking shape, and I’m devoting my days to something bigger than myself.

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Curiosity Builders, Pt. 2 (GWTW544)

It’s been almost three years since I started talking about Curiosity Builders. In my mind, I knew what I wanted to do: teach and share about the virtues of curiosity. I wrote courses, filmed videos, and started sharing with others. Then something happened. I got stuck in my head. Overthinking ensued and fear took over. And the vision, passion, and action drifted away into the recesses of my brain. But over the past year, the idea for Curiosity Builders shifted as I changed through various experiences. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to share about what it has become and how you can be part of it.

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Things I’m Thinking About (GWTW542)

In the middle of a busy week, my body decided I needed to rest. I don’t like to stop, I want to stay active and productive, but I couldn’t argue with the cold that kindly greeted me early Thursday morning. For four days, I slept, read books, and watched movies. I couldn’t believe all the fascinating things I started thinking about: the role of influences in creativity, why being a giver matters, love, boldness, risk, relentless optimism, The Beach Boys, and of course, Ted Lasso. May you find encouragement and inspiration in today’s monologue.

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