Category: Monologues

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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Infinite Loops of Overthinking (GWTW540)

I’m a chronic overthinker. I like to tell myself that it’s a new feature of my life thanks to the uncertainty of the times. But if I’m honest with myself and everyone listening right now, I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. When I overthink, my ability to take action on tasks and projects dwindles until I worry about everything. Decision-making becomes daunting and fraught with over-analysis. Perfectionism and fear hide around every corner until I lose momentum. Then, a miracle occurs! I get a beautiful fresh idea, and suddenly I’m back in business. The old melt away in favor of the new, that is, until I begin overthinking, yet again.

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Not For Immediate Use (GWTW538)

How much of your life do you spend trying to redeem every ounce of value in everything you consume? When you think of growth, what is the first thought that enters your mind? The answer to both of these questions is related. Growth is the result of not wasting any time and making sure that everything is valuable. While this sounds great and all, not everything is meant to be helpful today. Some things are not for immediate use. And that’s what this episode is all about. As I unblock myself from a cycle of overthinking, I let the culmination of a 20-year story resolve in my mind. The tension melts away, and I recognize an underlying thought: If I only ever live for the moment in the shallow end of life, there will be nothing to reflect upon tomorrow as I wade into deeper waters.

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Your Story Matters (GWTW536)

Did you know that your story matters and is worthy of sharing with others? If the first thing that enters your mind is doubt, represented by the insecure thought, “Even my story, Chris? You don’t know!” The answer is yes, even your story. We live in a world that elevates a relatively small number of people when there is an abundance of beauty found in other’s stories around the world. If there is a core value that fuels this show and a fundamental belief that gives my life meaning, it’s the truth that every story matters. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I explore seven reasons people think their stories don’t matter and how to see the truth.

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Getting Life to Work (GWTW534)

I’ve always been fascinated by work, leadership, and entrepreneurship. In many ways, I’ve become obsessed with my work, always working, even when resting. But lately, my eyes have been opening to the reality and necessity of self-care so I can live a more functional, beautiful, and glorious life. Your work ultimately won’t work if your body, mind, and spirit don’t work. And I learned this lesson most recently from a series of books. I know not surprising, but the book that had the most significant impact on my well-being might surprise you.

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What Goes Into An Hour? (GWTW532)

If there is a common thread of questioning that weaves all creative professionals and entrepreneurs together, it’s pricing our work and offerings. At various stages of your entrepreneurial journey, you’ve probably asked all of these questions: How much should I charge? How should I price my work? How often should I change my prices? Essentially, what we really want to know is what is the right way to do it, so that we make money, avoid the plight of feast or famine, and be able to keep doing what we want to be doing. But did you ever stop to think about what actually goes into an hour of your time? I was surprised when I revealed a hidden habit of how I decided to charge for my hour.

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Business Tunnel Vision (GWTW530)

When it comes to your business, do you have tunnel vision? Tunnel vision keeps you focused on the work directly in front of you, passively waiting for people to choose you. It tells you to share content consistently with the hope that what you have to say will resonate with someone, anyone. Most importantly, it keeps you trapped alone in the dark, surrounded by imaginary monsters. Inspired by something I read recently in Solo: How to Work Alone (and Not Lose Your Mind) by Rebecca Seal, I’m going to talk about business tunnel vision and share seven ways to escape it.

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Shoulds, Needs, and Wants (GWTW529)

You never know how much you have grown until you are in a situation where you see clearly who you once were and who you have become. For years, I wanted people to tell me who I should be. Then somewhere along my journey, I shifted to doing anything I could do to get what I needed. But to my recent surprise, I discovered that I have been focusing on what I actually want, and in the process, found clarity, peace, and an opportunity to help more people. Where are you on your creative journey? Are you living in the land of shoulds, needs, or wants?

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Learn Your Own Way (GWTW528)

Comparison, jealousy, envy, impostor syndrome, fear of missing out, feeling like I don’t measure up—nothing triggers these feelings more than learning. From online courses to in-person experiences, along with multiple mediums of engagement, there are unlimited opportunities to learn daily. It always seems like everyone else is learning all the things, and I’m learning hardly anything. But I realized that the more important reality is not how much you are learning but how you best learn and tailor your experiences accordingly. In simpler terms: quality, not quantity.

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Crutches For Your Creativity (GWTW527)

I love those moments when you hear something so straightforward that it reveals something hidden in your brain. I recently shared feedback with a friend, and her response was swift: “Yep, I know that about myself, it’s a crutch.” I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head. I know what crutches are used for when we hurt our bodies, but what are they used for when it comes to our creativity? Are they good, bad, or even odd? These are the questions that I’m exploring, yes, in today’s monologue, but honestly, in my life. Because once you start revealing crutches in your life and work, you won’t stop seeing them. Then it becomes a question of, “What do you do with them?”

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Curating Your Body of Work (GWTW526)

One of the constant forces of living a creative life is balancing the tension between creation and curation. Often, people explain those two acts of creativity as separate tasks: creators create and curators curate. Occasionally, they overlap, but they are usually separated. I don’t deny these two worlds. I think as creators we are in a constant state of both functions. We consume and curate the inspirational work that fuels our work. We create in the hopes that others will curate what we have done. But what happens as we amass a body of work throughout our lifetimes? How do we unearth the gold from the past so that people can benefit from it today? The answer is through the power of curation.

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The Lies of Professional Jealousy (GWTW524)

The past few weeks, I’ve been feeling stuck, left out, on the bench, not playing the game at my usual level of proficiency. The feelings were so intense, complex, and thick that I didn’t know where to start unpacking them. As I shared them with my business coach, she said a phrase that reverberated deep within me: “This sounds a lot like professional jealousy. I can so relate to this.” In this episode, I will tell a few stories of how professional jealousy has shaped my career. I’m going to talk about comparing yourself to others and how comparison is the root of professional jealousy. I’ll also share five ways to recognize and work through any jealousy you might be experiencing.

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Your Older Creative Life (GWTW522)

I was surprised when a theme popped up over the past few days. It’s centered around this question: What do you want your creative life to look like on your next milestone birthday? For me, that’s 50. It boggles my mind that I am closer to 50 than 30, let alone 20, but that’s just life. On the difficulty scale of questions to ask, this one is off the charts. I live life drifting between the present and some moment in the past. While I want to blame this behavior on the Internet, algorithms, and a culture that worships the youth and everything new, I don’t want to deal with reality. But I have to, just like we all do. And it starts with preparing for my creative future.

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When is an Idea Ready? (GWTW520)

Lately, I’ve been asking myself and others this question, “When is an idea ready?” I’m curious about what it takes for others to act because ready is a commitment. It’s a decision to go from an abstract thought that plays out only in your head to something becoming realized through planning, acting, creating, editing, refining, publishing, shipping, and sharing. For myself, I’m not entirely sure when an idea is ready to go. I think it’s a mix of “can’t stop thinking about it” and “if I don’t do something now, I won’t do anything at all.” In other words, I amplify an internal sense of creative tension that I must resolve. For others, it’s a deadline, a belief, a desire, an obligation, even a calling.

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What I’m Learning About Business (GWTW518)

I’m fifteen years into my business journey, and there is so much I still do not know. It seems like every day there is something new to learn. Not only about my business and the people I serve, but about myself. How I am wired; the future I want to create. The past I can’t seem to shake. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to dive into a few lessons that I’m learning about business. It’s all about solidifying and creating a future that not only works for me but inspires other business owners to dig deep and go further than they thought possible. Business isn’t easy, so why make it harder on yourself than it already is?

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Trusting Yourself (GWTW516)

What does it mean to trust yourself? Inspired by a quote from Seth Godin’s book, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, I’m exploring what it means to trust yourself and how trust connects to your passion. For most of my business, I found it easier to trust someone else’s interpretation of me rather than trust my thoughts, desires, and feelings. But as I consider what it means to trust myself and do the work connected to that trust, I see an interesting new path forward. To outsiders, it looks a lot like where I’ve been before. But to me, it feels so much different.

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Lost in Hypothetical Scenarios (GWTW514)

How much time do you spend thinking about hypothetical scenarios, and how will you respond to them? If you’re anything like me, more time than you’d like to admit. After all, you’re proactive and responsible, but there is a fine line between planning and procrastinating. I recently realized that the more time I spend planning for problems that may or may not exist, the less time I spend producing work, improving my craft, and connecting with others. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to explore several theoretical problems, why they are distractions, and how to keep moving forward.

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