PODCAST ARCHIVES!

Go! Get It! (GWTW719)

I just got back from my first real vacation in six years. While there were plenty of late-night existential wrestling matches—”I don’t know who I am on vacation anymore”—my mind was churring and whirring away underneath the surface. As I listened to the conversations around me, watched the truth emerge through body language, and paid attention to my feelings, I heard it clearly: “Go! Get it!” If you have a vision for your life and are afraid to take the first step of leaving the infinite labyrinth of modern society’s expectations of you, then the message for you is this: It’s not easy; it’s going to be the most challenging work you’ll ever do, but go! Bring your vision to life. It’s worth it for you and the others you’ll bring along on your journey.

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"Driving Force of Greatness" with Lindsay Gay & Trevor Solomon (GWTW718)

I love how spaces can influence our creativity. Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon, has impacted many people, especially past guests of Getting Work To Work. Jack Kent once saw a man and a llama walking through the square at night and would turn that moment into a book cover for Sketchy People. Bill Will, a conceptual sculptor and installation artist, created a public art installation during the pandemic to promote safe gatherings in a public space. Today, my guests are here to talk about PDX LIVE, a series of concerts in the heart of the city, and how creativity can be a reinvestment in the city and help revitalize downtown. Lindsay Gay is the director of operations at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Trevor Solomon is the lead talent buyer at TrueWest. Together, we are ready to discuss creativity, collaboration, the challenges of managing events for an entire city block, and the joys of people-watching.

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Evolution: Productivity (GWTW717)

Monologue ideas seem to enter my mind in the early hours. I picked up my phone, looked at my email (I know, not the best habit), and saw an email from Fruitful Life by Ashwin Chacko, “Grace Over Grind.” After reading the post, I started thinking about my backward relationship with productivity: I grind it out and reserve grace for others. But this week, I noticed something shifting inside. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about hitting deadlines and managing expectations, but I needed to let life enter into my daily plans. The more I let go of what I planned, the more I actually got done. What if everything I know about productivity is wrong and needs to evolve into something new? Chances are, we all might need to rethink productivity.

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"Stockpiling Hope & Curiosity" with Jarret Keene (GWTW716)

As a creative, what are you stockpiling? For today’s guest, he is not only collecting historical tidbits and fodder but also curiosity, hope, and optimism. Jarret Keene is a professor and author of Hammer of the Dogs, a new novel about a dystopian future set in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. In this conversation, Jarret shares an unbelievable wealth of wisdom about creativity and why we should be tour guides of our curiosities. He talks about the bright darkness of 1980s pop culture in which he found inspiration and the power of emotion and vulnerability to transform the creative process. He also touches on why you should steal time to write or create, the impact of writing alongside his students, how positive writing can change the world, and why we should be more silly and less serious in a world hell-bent on making us passive consumers of corporate propaganda.

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Relentless Mediocrity (GWTW715)

Over the weekend, I was helping an awesome client work on her new podcast about our hometown, and I heard my new favorite phrase: “relentless mediocrity.” At one point, my client interviewed me, and I shared why I gladly wear the badge of “Relentlessly Mediocre.” It’s not that I don’t aspire to be great at what I do; it’s just that I don’t want to be great every single day in every moment of my life. It’s not attainable, healthy, or human. But that is not the message you and I receive from society. Society tells us that to be relevant and worthy, we must aspire to greatness at all times. There is no room for mistakes, a strategic plan for the future must redeem all failure, and if you are mediocre, you might as well quit. So, let’s dive into why I think relentless mediocrity is healthy for our creativity and society.

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"The Human Touch of Tech" with Farzad Rashidi (GWTW714)

What are the hints and clues of who we become sprinkled throughout our lives? From his early years of wanting to know how things worked and taking apart his toys to learning about business as a young child watching his father’s entrepreneurial experiences, today’s guest found inspiration in many places for his entrepreneurial journey. Farzad Rashidi is the lead innovator at Respona, “the link-building outreach platform that helps businesses increase their organic traffic.” In this conversation, Farzad shares several examples of how Respona works to create backlinks, establish credibility, and, most importantly, build relationships. He also talks about humility as a leader, the difference between being an employee and leading a company, how an internal tool became a product for others, and optimism’s role in his exploration of future possibilities.

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Break the Mold of Your Life (GWTW713)

It’s the middle of the night, and I can’t sleep again. As I play a silly game on my phone to quiet my mind, I hear a question, “Are you willing to break the mold of your life?” We live so many moments of our lives according to the scripts inherited from others: genetics, families, friends, lovers, celebrities, pastors, gurus, media moguls, authors, artists, musicians, time, habits, the list is endless. Why trust ourselves to carve our own statues when we are given a generic mold based upon imitations of others? A mold we can use over and over again until it becomes our death mask? What will it take to break the mold of our lives? First, be willing to explore whether your life is working for you. From there, desire something else you can see in your dreams. You’ll then want to bring it to life through action and funding your future while paying for the past. Finally, you can invite others to participate in your new life.

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"Creating an Impact" with James Jensen-Grace (GWTW712)

Have you ever gone to a meetup not knowing what to expect or who you will meet? You sit down and awkwardly chit-chat with people around you before it finally happens: you meet the one person who makes the event worth attending. Two months ago, that happened to me. I went to a podcast meetup and sat next to today’s guest. James Jensen-Grace is the founder and CEO of Branding4Pride, an LGBTQ+ digital media marketing and branding consultancy firm. In this conversation, James shares his experience and wisdom as a transgender man and serial entrepreneur, not just around branding, marketing, and impact, but with life. We discuss his approach to building connections with people and how it relates to his desire to learn, evolve, and continually impact others. James also shares many stories, from growing up on a ranch, running a wedding DJ business, and building resilience to knowing when to quit, how to fail forward, and his three-step approach to spreading love and joy.

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The Future Can Wait? (GWTW711)

I’ve been thinking a lot about procrastination and why I do it. Ironically, I started writing this episode on Monday, and now it’s Wednesday. I am still writing, waiting, not sure for what. I listed the usual culprits and excuses: boredom, imposter syndrome, conflict avoidance, worrying about what people will say, the lack of response. But one surprise caught me off guard, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today. If you are struggling with procrastination, more specifically, putting the work you want to be known for in the future to the side—while you do everything and anything else—then this episode is for you.

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"Speak Out Against Racism" with Dr. Rob Eschmann (GWTW710)

How does racism hide in our daily lives? How does history impact us today? What are jobs going to look like in an AI future? What is the society we want to live in? These are a few of the massive questions Dr. Rob Eschmann explores in today’s conversation. Rob is a scholar, educator, filmmaker, and author of When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age. He is endlessly curious about ways to end oppression and better understand the mechanism of racism. Throughout this conversation, he shares his hope for the future, what drove him to research structural racism, education as a path for social change, what jobs AI might render obsolete, and how he uses art, film, and storytelling in the struggle against racism.

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Frozen By Limitations (GWTW709)

I’ve had the concept of limitations on my mind recently. As a creator working in several mediums, I’m firmly aware of my limitations. I try to work within my limitations and sometimes use strict parameters to influence my creativity. But as I work with other creators to produce and edit their work, I see another side of limitations. What can be freeing and flowing for one quickly freezes another into the most beautiful statue. Perfectionism, procrastination, imposter syndrome, comparison, all the sins afflicting the modern creative ravage the mind, spurring the question: “What is the right thing to do?” I will explore this idea of limitations and see if I can’t melt away some of the ice that holds us back.

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"Feed Your Greatness" with Darryl Bumpass, Sr. (GWTW708)

To give you an insight into what the next 30 minutes of your life will be like, today’s guest has this remarkable phrase on his website: “If You Are What You Eat, Then Feed Me Greatness™.” Darryl Bumpass, Sr. is an author, speaker, and life coach exploring greatness, creating a life that reflects the best version of ourselves, bringing out our purpose from within, and turning dreams into reality. Darryl shares his wisdom gained from experience, insights, reading, and listening throughout this conversation. He also talks about self-care, self-investment, tips for recovering from burnout, and his own diet of greatness. I hope you’ll grab a notebook and get ready to take some notes because Darryl brings the passion and inspiration that you need.

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The Principles of GWTW (GWTW707)

Have you ever had one of those moments where you say something profound and immediately follow it up with, “I should probably unpack what that means.” Recently, I mentioned something along the lines of working according to the principles of Getting Work To Work. It sounded like an excellent thing to say, but I didn’t know what those principles were until I wrote them down. Throughout the podcast, I talk about the need for core values to guide us toward work that matters. How are principles different? If values are the direction we are facing, principles are the actions that propel us forward. I hope this episode inspires you to develop your list of principles to see what motivates your life and work.

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"Chronic Illness at Work" with Julie Hamilton (GWTW706)

I was shocked to read the statistic shared by today’s guest that “34% of the US population suffers from a chronic illness.” How does that impact the world of work? Julie Hamilton is a workplace consultant, chronic illness specialist, and author of Chronic Illness at Work: How Managers Can Support Employees with Chronic Illness. In this conversation, she shares her journey as an HR professional managing her chronic illness and why employees are reluctant to disclose their illnesses. We also talk about finding purpose later in life, productivity versus socialization, why open communication and trust are essential tools in building empathy, humor’s role in her life, and how her chronic illness helped her be a better leader. Most importantly, Julie explains why taking care of yourself and giving yourself grace are two of the most important things you can do daily.

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Plan for Creativity in Solitude (GWTW705)

No matter how long I pursue my creative ventures, I never stop learning how my brain works, what I still need to understand, and the surprises that show up when I least expect them. July has been full of meetings, video shoots, audio recordings, and ideation. There was so much going on that a critical component of my work took a backseat to the momentum: creativity in solitude. While filling my days away from the computer and around people can be exciting, I need time alone to dream, think, write, and produce. It’s a delicate dance as the introvert within wants to stand in the corner bobbing his head, and the extrovert wants to swing dance with the world. Fortunately, I feel the pressure, opportunity, and desire to figure this out. And, of course, share what I’m learning with you.

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"How You Want to Live" with Patrick McAndrew (GWTW704)

How do you want to live? What is your morning practice? Your evening practice? Your work practice? These questions are but a few expressed in my conversation with Patrick McAndrew, the Founder and CEO of HARA. As he writes on his website, “Patrick focuses on developing the whole person, knowing that high performance is determined by how you live – not just how you work.” In our time together, we explore how where we live influences our creativity, the system of the Internet, living with intention versus being manipulated, self-awareness and self-regulation, and our need for one another. At the core of the conversation are two ideas: 1) focus is not a single skill but an outcome of how you live, and 2) human potential is the ability to explore the range and depth of human experience.

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Be Ready for the Yes! (GWTW703)

Last night, I was lying in bed dreaming about the future: “What would it look like if I made my entire living from Getting Work To Work?” Yes, I was awake, not asleep. But as I thought more this morning, I realized I’m not the only one considering how to do this. With Hollywood on strike and corporate executive pay in the news, it’s an excellent time to remind people what they can do with their dollars in the world of independent artists. I wrote a blog post in 2018 with clear steps to support creative professionals. Five years later, it still rings true. But it’s not enough for people to support artists; the artists need to be ready for the support. And that’s what today’s monologue is all about. In the words of Jack Kent, “Be ready for the yes.”

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"The Deep Work of Recruitment" with Suman Cherry (GWTW702)

Why do you do what you do? How do your values influence your value and worth? How can you improve your ability to communicate your needs, wants, and desires? I explore these questions and more in today’s episode of Getting Work To Work. Suman Cherry is the founder and CEO of Cherry Talent Group and describes herself as a “hiring match maker.” In this conversation, she shares wisdom learned from doing the deep work of recruitment for 20 years. She talks about the role values play in determining worth and value, why communication and feedback are essential, how people can improve their visibility with recruiters, and the role mistakes play in building a more impactful, purposeful business. We also discuss what AI will bring to recruitment and what it can never replace: the ability to learn about a person in conversation. Finally, if you wonder how self-growth influences your work, Suman explains what she is learning on her healing journey.

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Are You a Fearless Creator? (GWTW701)

One of the challenges of making a documentary is that so many heartfelt stories are shared but never used in the finished film. A clip or two might appear in the behind-the-scenes footage, but mostly the interviews wither away through time, memory, and the ones and zeroes of the backup drive. One way I’ve thought to remedy my guilt is to release the entire interview in podcast form. But it just didn’t work. I interview differently for a documentary than I do for a podcast. Fortunately, last week I got an idea: What if I share stories from the cutting room floor? I could feature extended sections of interviews, stories, and anecdotes from past episodes of Getting Work To Work: The Series and other short films, not to mention clips from abandoned projects. The first entry comes from my short film about cartoonalist Jack Kent. He shares what it means to be a fearless creator through his main projects, Sketchy People and Gulls, and the best advice he ever received for creating art.

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"Beyond the Box of What You Do" with Jesse Schpakowski (GWTW700)

When you look at your skills and experience, do you ever think about how to use them to do something entirely outside the box? To transcend expectations, think bigger, and bring dreams to life? Jesse Schpakowski is a photographer, videographer, and life-long learner exploring these questions. In this conversation, Jesse shares his learning journey from being a kid with a video camera filming his friends to an adult photographing everything from real estate and tourism to nature, bears, and the ferocious pug. He talks about how he learned to be alone in nature, to read the body language of animals, to overcome fear through experience, and how it all connects to entrepreneurship. He also gives insight into what is possible as he collaborates with his partner in her business.

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Visual Cacophony (GWTW699)

The creative and curious world of work constantly inspires me. The people, the processes, and the products are all infinitely interesting. But if I had to choose what really piques my curiosity: the workspaces people make so they can do their best work. Whether it’s a coffee shop, a spare room where we live, or a giant warehouse, every one of us has a place that we have created to do our work. What does your workspace say about you? Does it inspire you to create or shut you down while you search for what you need? Are you messy or minimal? There is no wrong answer, which is what is so satisfying when visiting other people’s studios, offices, maker spaces, or shops. When you cross the threshold into a new place, you witness a uniqueness that can’t be taught or bought. How much does the environment influence the outcome of what we create? It’s hard to say, but it’s more than we realize and something we shouldn’t take lightly.

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"How I Started View Thunder" with Kyle Shold (GWTW698)

Have you ever had a project you wanted to bring to life but struggled to make it happen? Today’s guest shares his struggles from taking a dream project and making it a reality. In this conversation, Kyle Shold unpacks how he overcame multiple barriers—hating the sound of his voice, showing up confident on camera, learning the tools and art of editing—to start his new Youtube channel, View Thunder. He produces curated movie reviews that celebrate the art, design, and cinematic storytelling present in movies he absolutely loves. He shares how burnout in his illustration work led him to find a new outlet for his creativity, working through mistakes and learning curves, and most importantly, knowing when it was time to publish.

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Creative Steps & Reps (GWTW697)

A common question people ask me when they hear I’ve been podcasting for seven years and almost 700 episodes: “How do you still have anything to say?” That is an excellent question that I wrestled with early on in the show’s life. And if I’m honest, one I’ve been wrestling with in the past few months. The reason is simple: I’m doing the reps but not putting in the steps. Much like our physical bodies, our creativity flourishes when we do simple things daily. But when you add light strength training as well? Creativity soars! Not only do we have something to say, but we have the power and skill to turn a whisper into a roar. Whether you are on day one of your creative life, in the middle of your career, or nearing retirement, how will you incorporate creative steps and reps into your daily life?

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"Let's Make Delightful Mistakes!" with Sean Schumacher (GWTW696)

I have an important question: How are you making room for laughter in your creative process? Yes, work is serious, but it’s also fun, silly, and straight-up goofy nonsense, at least according to today’s guest. Sean Schumacher is an Assistant Professor of Design at Portland State University, a podcaster, and an all-around nice person who is building community and making design more accessible. In this conversation, we talk about their love for comedy, the journey from artist to designer to design educator, why we shouldn’t fear mistakes, and how to know a project is done and ready to ship. On top of all that, we make room for deep thoughts and belly laughs. Whether you are a design student, creative professional, hardened cynic, or design communicator, Sean’s approach to life and work will hopefully help you open up to delight and wonder.

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"Mr Eligible" with gough (GWTW695)

Fresh from his game-changing journey of epic proportions as Mr Eligible searching for his soul mate, global sensation gough of BeernutsProductions.com is back on Getting Work To Work to talk all about his latest film, Mr Eligible. In this conversation, he naturally shares all the behind the scenes stories from the set, not to mention what made this film his most ambitious production yet. He shares about the challenges in casting a diverse group of women, what it takes to film a 41-minute film in one day, how many hours of reality TV he watched in preparation for this production, and of course, what makes Al Gibson special. Most importantly, he answers the most shocking question ever asked in the history of the world, “Who would lie on reality TV?” The answer will shock you.

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"Support the Monster Makers!" with Kyle Van Cleave (GWTW694)

What are the curiosities and interests you are hiding from the world? What would happen if you brought them to life in your work? For today’s guest, his love for monsters, comic books, pop culture, and pro wrestling found its way into his work after a chance encounter with a Frankenstein Pop! Funko. Now, Boris is everywhere, and it’s awesome. Kyle Van Cleave of Deadbolt Design is a designer and illustrator who brings an attitude of fun and uniqueness to everything he does. In this conversation, Kyle and I bond over Guillermo del Toro and monster movies. He also shares his thoughts on why the Frankenstein story is the perfect analogy for understanding the relationship to our creative work, his love for storytelling, the challenges of rebranding his studio, and what it’s like running a business with his wife, Ashley. Most importantly, we talk about what it means to support your local monster makers.

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Bangers, Ballads & Epics (GWTW693)

I’ve learned a thing or two producing this show and others over the years. But one issue that trips us up at one point or another: the pressure to consistently make the best episode possible. Yes, it’s a form of perfectionism, but it’s also the fear that if an episode has flaws, people won’t listen, and eventually, they’ll leave. Some episodes flow freely from idea to finished product, while others are a struggle. There’s a lot of advice on what to do in these moments: Amateurs wait for inspiration, professionals get to work. Thanks, Mr. Close. But I have a saying that I love to say when a client is struggling: “Not every episode needs to be a banger, sometimes you need a good ole fashioned ballad.” That’s some advice I needed to hear today because I felt the pressure of writing the perfect monologue.

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"Science: The Infinite Candy Store" with Christopher Reddy (GWTW692)

Today’s guest is curious about everything and often asks, “Why is that, that way?” Throughout his career as a scientist and chemist, Christopher Reddy has found a way to channel his curiosity into action as he studies marine pollution. In this conversation, Chris explains how science actually works over long stretches of time and the role uncertainty plays in the work. We talk about how Star Trek and Carl Sagan’s work inspired his scientific career, effective tools for science communication, the importance of building local relationships, and the profound events that change our lives. Throughout the conversation, we discuss Chris’s book, Science Communication in a Crisis: An Insider’s Guide. Not only is it effective at explaining the why and how of science communication, I believe it is an excellent resource for any creative professional who wants to learn better ways to communicate what they do.

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Gatekeeping Creativity? (GWTW691)

I love art and creativity. There’s something magical about taking an idea buried deep in your mind and transforming it into a creative artifact—a movie, song, website, logo, or photo. You get the idea. On top of that, I love technology. Isn’t it amazing how much access we have to mind-blowing tools that make our jobs easier? I’m far from an early adopter of new tech toys, but I love how I can broaden my creative vision a little further into the future every year. But I haven’t always been this way. I used to be a creative gatekeeper. I wanted to define rules that allowed me to label what was and wasn’t creative. More specifically, as a self-declared gatekeeper, I controlled who was and was not creative. While I have allowed my opinions to morph and evolve over the years, I’m seeing more and more people digging in their heels, declaring what is and is not creative: “This is art, but this is crap.” I understand the sentiment, but could there be a better way to advance our creative vision without gatekeeping creativity?

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"Abundant Creativity & Freedom" with Neal Morse (GWTW690)

Neal Morse is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and creative cross-pollinator who not only makes epic progressive rock concept albums about the lives of Martin Luther, the Apostle Paul, and Jesus but also brings his creativity to multiple projects including NMB, Transatlantic, Flying Colors, and D’Virgilio, Morse, and Jennings. In this conversation, Neal and I explore song lyrics he’s written over the years centered around creativity, spirituality, business, and the future. He also shares how he creates with a focus on limitless possibilities and abundant creativity, the challenges of writing for different projects, how faith plays a crucial role in his creative process, and his approach to business over the years. Most importantly, we talk about the spiritual power of music and how it can connect with us at a soul level.

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Take Time to Celebrate (GWTW689)

It’s a big week here at Getting Work To Work. The 7th anniversary of the podcast is this Friday featuring an interview with one of my heroes. I’m releasing the second episode of the documentary series about a farmer. And, as always, I’m thinking about what’s next. There’s always something to plan, produce, schedule, and promote. Perhaps that’s why I was lying awake last night, avoiding the next wave of production, by obsessing over things already finished. I was replaying moments from the interview earlier in the day. Hoping people will like the video. Wondering what this monologue will be about. My mind was racing. Sound familiar to you? I don’t think I’m alone because a thought occurred to me this morning, echoing my conversation with Mike Brennan: Why am I not taking time to celebrate? Why is celebrating anything so hard, especially when you know that the clock never stops?

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"Go Create Something" with Mike Brennan (GWTW688)

What are you searching for with your creativity? Perhaps you want to find a way to make a living. Or maybe you want to engage in the most profound pursuits of humanity. Today on Getting Work To Work, Mike Brennan and I dive into the deep end of the pool and examine creativity from the perspectives of meaning, happiness, and play. Mike is an illustrator, public speaker, and podcaster passionate about helping creatives build daily creative habits. In this conversation, we discuss what holds us back from doing our work, the business side of creativity, and how to work through the moments we are stuck.

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