Creative R&D (GWTW657)

Today, I’ve got creative R&D on my mind. At first, I thought I’d be clever and change the R&D from “Research & Development” to “Routine & Discipline.” I was going to talk about the importance of a daily routine and why discipline is both needed for maintaining performance and a byproduct of what you do. But as I gathered my thoughts, I realized research and development are equally important in our creative lives. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m talking about why we need to broaden our boundaries of research, slow down and spend more time experimenting and exploring sub-sections of our crafts, and align those efforts with our established creative processes.

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You Are The Storyteller (GWTW656)

We are storytellers—every one of us. From the day we enter the world to the day we die, we live in a world shaped infinitely by stories within and around us. We learn at a young age about good versus evil, heroes and monsters, beauty and beasts. When we are young, we are curious about everything and want to tell the world the stories that shape us. We go on quests, gain inspiration and experience, and realize there is so much we don’t know or understand. Our stories evolve. We repeatedly try until we become tired of fighting, of telling a story that no longer serves ourselves and others. So we cede the power to be storytellers to machines and industries and become collectors of stories. But that doesn’t need to be the end of the story.

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Skip to the End! (GWTW655)

How much pain and suffering would we avoid in our work and creative lives if we intentionally skipped to the end? If we took our present striving and extrapolated it into some point in the future and examined how we felt, how we lived, and what we became? We aren’t pre-cogs in a science fiction film trying to prevent the future, but we are trying to find ways to be more proactive in creating a life worth living. That is why we should probably skip to the end more frequently, especially as we get older and see the end more clearly.

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Tough Questions to Ask Yourself (GWTW654)

There often comes a moment in our careers when we need to wrestle with some tough questions. You know the type: existential, philosophical, realistic. Cue your eye-rolling, hit stop, these questions are downright frustrating. Not just because we do not like asking them, or even answering them, but because they lead us to a new future that requires decisive action, change, and breaking down the walls of our comfort zone. As I was writing in my morning pages, I kept writing down question after question, wanting to find the tough questions I have been avoiding. I’m going to share what I came up with and encourage you to use them to find your own tough questions too.

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Re-Animate Dead Dreams (GWTW653)

I love those moments when you give up on something, and in explaining why you gave up, you come up with the spark of an idea, allowing the creative process to begin. I had given up on a second monologue this week. I wanted to focus on preparing for the first film shoot of Getting Work To Work: The Series! and writing a newsletter about creative relationships. I started writing the first sentence explaining why there was only one monologue when the idea struck: How do you re-animate dead dreams? I am a collector of dead dreams and don’t think I’m alone. Some have been gone a long time, and I don’t see them returning from the dead (rockstar, anyone?). But what about the dreams that merely need a bolt of lightning to live again?

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Lies Fear Told Me (GWTW652)

It’s the middle of the night, and you’re lying in bed when suddenly, bam! There it is, fresh in your find, in its finished form. There’s nothing more exciting than the promise of a new creative idea. You imagine the response. People love it. Likes, subscribes, shares. Then something happens—at least for me—fear shows up. Sure, fear is in costume, but it’s there, whispering lies and half-truths, saying anything to stop this creative project from seeing the light of day. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m sharing five lies fear has told me and the truths to counter them.

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Create Within Your Paradox (GWTW651)

I have no idea how creativity works, but I’m glad it does. This morning, I got triggered by the onslaught of daily challenges on Instagram. The grumpy contrarian in me was ready to do a complete takedown rant on how challenges are a waste of time: “Creativity is not just exercise! It’s nutrition! It’s fitness! It’s everything!” Drink your coffee and calm down. But as I explored these thoughts further, I started thinking about the different parts of my creative self and how they work together and against each other to get my work to work. Deep within the interaction of these different parts of ourselves lies the paradox at the core of creativity, the magic, the fun. Let’s enter it, shall we?

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Pieces of the Puzzle (GWTW650)

How many of you hit the reset button of your life on January 1st, 2023? This year is probably the first time I decided against resolutions and wishing for a different life. Not because I’m giving up or social media said I needed to, but because I have work to do—on myself, for my clients, and to bring the creative vision deep within me to life. I have always loved hitting the reset button, it is how I learned to play the guitar, after all, but this year is different. Instead of resetting to serve some idealized version of myself, I’m rummaging around on the floor amongst the broken pieces of life to see what’s there. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to share five interesting pieces of the puzzle that each form their own intriguing vision of the future.

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“Failure Rules!” with Andrew Thorp King (GWTW649)

How would you define your relationship with failure? Regardless of your answer, you’re going to learn a thing or two from today’s guest about failure and how to look at it in a new light so you can go from failure sucks to failure rules! Andrew Thorp King is an executive fintech banker, spy novelist, speaker, punk rocker, podcaster, ex-bodybuilder, cigar lover, serial entrepreneur, serial failure, and author of FAILURE RULES! The 5 Rules of Failure for Entrepreneurs, Creatives, and Authentics. In this conversation, he shares many stories that form the foundation of his five rules of failure. He also touches on a wide range of topics covering the world of punk rock, spirituality, building a portfolio of pursuits, and wielding chaos as an idea engine.

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Creative Lessons for a New Year (GWTW648)

It’s the end of the year, and as we head into a new year with unforeseen possibilities, it’s time to examine our creative processes. How do we produce our work? Is it serving us? Chances are there are portions of our approach, being, vision, and expression that can be challenged, shaped, and refined. The best way to do that is through the lens of memoirs by two drastically different yet similar artists. Combining lessons from the worlds of drama, improv, sketch comedy, and performance art, today’s episode of Getting Work to Work features seven creative lessons to practice in the new year.

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“The Fifth Try” with Alicja Colon (GWTW647)

As creative entrepreneurs, starting new businesses and projects are integral to your work. But how do you develop something new when your past business ventures have failed? Alicja Colon is a serial creative entrepreneur stepping into her fifth business, and she is back on the show to share how she is approaching it differently this time. From understanding her strengths to being more analytical and intentional in journaling what she is doing, Alicja shares several tasks we could all improve within our own businesses. We also talk about her podcast, The Fifth Try, the need to balance short-term needs and long-term growth, how she is moving from a scarcity to an abundance mindset, and her rubric for what she says yes to do.

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Your Story Can Start Today (GWTW646)

If you were to write your story, where would you start? As an avid reader of biographies and memoirs, there is nothing more frustrating than starting a book about a remarkable life at the boring beginning. There may be moments at the beginning of our lives that are memorable, but what if our stories didn’t start until much later? With a cultural fascination bordering on obsession with the youth, it can be hard to stomach that some people don’t really start living their story until the twilight of their lives. Whether you are in your twenties, eighties, or beyond, your story can start today.

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“An Evolution of Intuition” with Kate Nason (GWTW645)

How do you respond when a publisher or audience rejects your creative project? How do you build your creative resilience, especially when your work is personal? These questions provide the foundation for my conversation with author Kate Nason. Her memoir, Everything is Perfect, is now available in print, and she shares the creative journey from 49 rejections to self-publishing. We also discuss the differences between audio and printed books, the role of grieving in our creative processes, and why we are more than just rational minds. Regardless of your medium, Kate’s wisdom can help you work through the struggles that every artist faces in their creative journey.

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Feedback and Personal Projects (GWTW644)

Over the past several monologues of Getting Work To Work, I’ve been sharing chapters from my forthcoming book. After each episode, I had a similar reaction: I need to get this book in front of people to get notes to improve it. But I kept dragging my feet. Why? Why is it easier to get feedback on a professional project than on a personal one? Do I lack the ability to separate myself from my work? Do I trust people to give me feedback that will allow the book to be the best it can be? In today’s monologue, I’m tackling these questions and sharing five tips for letting people into your personal project without losing your mind.

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“High-Velocity Digital Marketing” with Steve Kahan (GWTW643)

There is no silver bullet solution for every problem your business faces, from lead generation to revenue growth, just the fundamentals, and hard work. This statement is the foundation of my conversation with Steve Kahan, author of the new book, High-Velocity Digital Marketing: Silicon Valley Secrets to Create Breakthrough Revenue in Record Time. Throughout our conversation, he shares how talking with customers leads to creating content they need across the entire spectrum of the buyer’s journey. He also talks about what he learned about digital marketing in his 1.4 billion dollar exit and what people often get wrong. Most importantly, he makes marketing accessible and understandable, one story, one tip at a time.

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The Curiosity Toolkit (GWTW642)

Before I started on the journey that is writing a book, I came up with the idea of The Curiosity Toolkit. Originally, it was going to be an online course. As the desire came and went to produce online courses as part of my business plan—I love teaching, but not in that medium—I archived the toolkit. As the structure and content of my book began to take shape, I realized the toolkit would fit nicely into the overall story structure. The Curiosity Toolkit is broken down into 14 chapters and uses our body, mind, and spirit as implements for our curiosity. I’ll read two chapters from this section in today’s episode: the introduction and soul.

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“From BBQ to Branding” with Phyllis Williams-Strawder (GWTW641)

If there’s one thing I love about today’s guest, it’s that she knows who she is and makes zero apologies for filling the room with her awesomeness. Phyllis Williams-Strawder is the Ghetto Country Brandmother® and is a Certified Brand Strategist, business coach, and writer. In this conversation, she shares her love for business and helping people to become who they want to be. She talks about branding—what it is and is not, respecting your business, and not being embarrassed with who you are. Throughout the conversation, she shares stories and lessons learned along her journey from BBQ to branding.

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Avoiding Community (GWTW640)

How do you write about community when you feel like you’re living in hiding? When you don’t want to commit to another group of people because past wounds are still oozing and ugly? You accept where you are at and let the words flow. Could healing come from this moment? In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’ll share a chapter about avoiding community from my forthcoming book, A Curious Journey: Learning to Co-exist in Solitude, Relationships, and Community. I’ve had my fair share of struggles with different communities over the past twenty years, but I’m not ready to be a hermit just yet.

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“Brain Bump: The Future of Content” with Mark Herschberg (GWTW639)

What do you do when you are endlessly curious about how people get the most out of their lives and maximize their professional efficacy? You find a way to deliver context-dependent content—what you need when you need it. Mark Herschberg is an author and creator of the Brain Bump app and is back on Getting Work To Work to share about the changing world of content. Yes, an endless supply of information is available to us 24×7, but what is shifting is how we consume and retain information. In this conversation, Mark shares the stories behind Brain Bump, how it works, and the iterative process he went through making the app. He also mixes in various shareable moments on topics such as our careers and niches, laziness as a design principle, brand awareness, and the creative process.

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Add Your Words to the World (GWTW638)

Last week on Getting Work To Work, I shared about the book I’ve been writing and read from a chapter about silence. I received a positive response, which encouraged me to continue sharing. So this week, I’m moving to the next section of the book, which is about close relationships. The chapter I’ll be sharing is about human evolution, the changes we go through, and our expectations of others to never change. But before I do that, I want to let anyone listening know this: your art, your words, and your lives are important, so never stop sharing them with your loved ones.

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“In Conversation with Ideas” with Guthrie Ramsey (GWTW637)

What would you discover about yourself if you reexamined a significant portion of your career? Today’s guest on Getting Work To Work recently collected and edited 25 years of essays into a collection called Who Hears Here?: On Black Music, Pasts and Present. Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. has many talents and interests: a musiqologist, professor, writer, pianist, composer, producer, podcaster, and filmmaker. In our conversation, he shares lessons learned from examining his past and how he continually weaves between interests and ideas. Guthrie talks a lot about collaboration and being open to others, the cycle of dream-plan-execute in creating new things, and how he is in constant dialogue between what he’s collected and what he’s experiencing now.

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An Inside Look at My Book (GWTW636)

On November 1st, 2021, I embarked on the journey of writing my first book. My process was simple: I wrote every day by hand in a notebook. Little by little, I captured my thoughts until I completed the first draft over a month later, on December 5th, 2021. I then started transcribing the words into Scrivener, and over the next month, the book started taking shape. Another month went by—a little bit of editing happened—but I slowed down. Then eventually, I stopped. Why was I so willing to write ferociously in the beginning? Why was I not afraid of the blank page but frightened of finishing? I got in my head. I let fear stop my progress. And I became yet another person to start a book and never finish it until a friend challenged me.

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“The Edge of Change” with Patti Julber (GWTW635)

How do you embrace change, not only for yourself but also for your team and your clients? Today’s guest not only thrives with change but believes it is essential for the long-term success of life and business. Patti Julber is the owner of Complements Home Interiors in Bend, OR, not to mention a designer, contractor, coach, and board member of BendFilm. In this conversation, we talk a lot about change, learning new things, and the role of failure in business. She also shares what she learns from others as a coach and the value of nurturing a creative community. If you are struggling with change, I think you’ll find a way forward in this conversation with Patti.

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When Doubt Takes Over (GWTW634)

You ever have one of those moments when you knew you made the right decision, but then the outcome didn’t reveal itself when you wanted it to? Did I make the right decision? Is the presence of doubt a sign that I should make changes to my plan? Should I have stayed? When doubt takes over, managing all the questions in your mind and conversations with trusted advisors can be exhausting. Today on Getting Work To Work, I’m getting curious about doubt and its relationship to impatience, fear, and the creative process. We all feel it, sometimes change our minds because of it, and mostly view doubt as a negative experience. But what if doubt is actually a positive indicator of something else? That you are right where you need to be on your creative journey.

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“Doorways to Curiosity” with Gary Rogowski (GWTW633)

What amends do you need to make for your past creative sins? How can you forgive yourself for the past creative mistakes you’ve made? Two deep questions from my conversation with Gary Rogowski—furniture maker, podcaster, author, and teacher. In this conversation, Gary shares stories that inspire his latest podcast project, Creativity: Hustlers, Fakers, and Thieves. Additionally, we discuss the creative process from different angles: forgiveness and humility. It was an enriching conversation to have and to return to in the editing process. I hope you’ll learn much from it as you continue your creative journey.

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