This Is Gonna Take A While

You’ve heard the joke about the overnight success that was 10 years in the making. Nothing worth having comes quickly.

As you’re building your talent and your audience, you’ll find that there’s no singular skill or move that will put you over the top overnight. You chip away through consistent effort and experimentation. Being ready for opportunities is not the same thing as jumping at every offer that comes your way. If you look at overnight successes, one of two things will be true – either they wen’t from zero to hero literally overnight, and then fell from grace equally fast, or were carefully honing their craft over years.

Success will seem elusive at times, but that seems to be by design – only those who are willing to keep working, to wait it out, to stay focused on the right opportunities, on their own terms, will rise to the top.

You have to patient. You have to hang on to the small successes. You have to enjoy the ride.

Because this is gonna take a while.

Listen to the episode here:

Productivity Tips for Modern Writers

northern
lights.png

The modern writer doesn’t always have the luxury of sitting at a typewriter in a log cabin, with a picture window, cable-knit sweater and steaming cup of coffee, awaiting the muse. We probably have day jobs. We have busy lives, and the number of distractions we encounter is ever-expanding.

‘Grind’ is in. We know we have to hustle, prioritize and muscle through the hard work while balancing everything else that needs our attention.

There are tools and techniques that can not only help you catch inspiration whenever it visits you, they also add novelty, fun, and the ability to combine tasks for ultimate productivity. Great tools need to be accessible and portable, simple, and effective. They can be technology-based or old-school. Experiment often with different tools and systems of tools to see what helps – sometimes the promise of a new notebook or app is all you need to crack that ‘block’ that keeps you from getting after it every day.

Listen to the entire episode here:

Episode 17 – The True Original – Why You Could Be The “Next Big Thing”

What’s a ‘true original’? What defines someone who defies tradition and breaks the rules to create something new? When they do arrive, they seem to advance the art, changing the game for all time.

Your voice may be unique and at first, it will feel like no one is listening. The worst thing you can do is to tune your artistic taste to whatever is familiar, popular. Experiment every change you get, and you will arrive at the intersection of your unique experiences, influences, and passions. Your internal compass will guide you to something that is at once unique and gratifying to you. it feels right.

If you write for popular taste, you are looking to please everyone. Don’t. Art is ultimately mean to fulfil the self by creating things that go out into the world…but having the world ‘like it’ is not a prerequisite. Pleasing others might make you popular, but it won’t make you memorable. Only things that are true can last.

For the full episode, click here.

 

Episode 16 – Millennial Leadership – The Myth of “Paying Your Dues”

design-1

Do you have to ‘Pay Your Dues’ before you can become a leader?

Any discipline that requires skill demands that you practice of course. But aside from that, what matters most is your passion. If you have a burning desire to make change in the world, you already have everything you need.

But power is something you have to be really careful with. Rule of thumb – those who want power shouldn’t have it. And when you start showing up as a leader, there’s a line between confidence, which leaders need, and arrogance, which will make others want to put you back in your place. Humility is key. If you are seeking only to serve (meaning your first objective is to benefit others before yourself) it will be easier to inspire and build trust.

The world has enough appointed managers, and not enough passionate leaders who serve something greater than themselves. You are needed. No dues required.

Listen to the full episode here.

Outcome Independence

Powerful people do not hang their happiness on getting their way.

Life unfolds as it will, and when plans are shattered and nothing goes the way you want it to, you need to be able to welcome the challenges of change.

If you are singularly focused on one person, one job, one way to get to your goals….you are not open, not prepared for whatever may reveal itself to you. And you’ll miss opportunities while you bemoan the disappointments.

Rather, see success and opportunity as abundant. Anytime something leaves your grip, exits your life, remember that ‘a better one is just around the corner’. To see resources and success as scarce forces you to want them for the wrong reasons, and when you pursue things that aren’t right for you….the world tends to react accordingly. This is the cause of so much anxiety, self doubt, and sadness.

Learn to welcome new and different outcomes. You’ll become more resilient, more responsive, and you’ll stand out from your competition.

Check out the entire episode here.

Coaching Check-In

I wish I could sit down with each of you; hear your stories, understand what you need in order to get inspired and successful.  Given that I can’t, I’ll jump online every once in a while to give you the coaching I would give to you individually….but it requires your participation.
I want you to make a practice of reflecting on the week that has just passed.  Did you have a goal for your creative work, leadership development, or business?  Did you hit your goals?  If you didn’t, did you catch yourself procrastinating, or feeling the fear, doubt or even the lack of self-confidence holding you back?
I may not be able to speak to you individually, but there are some conversations I know I’d be having with you if I did.  Most people who are seeking a new, completely fulfilling life, hit the same challenges.  There are things you need to know and things you need to do in order to have small wins and keep evolving and growing.   If you fail to do these things, you’ll wander, and if you lose hope too early, you may abandon the path, and continue living a life of safety and sameness.
I want something very different for you.  Something that most of the population doesn’t have.

Millennial Leadership

We hear a lot about the broken state of Millennials.  To be sure, they were raised in an interesting time in Western Culture – of immediacy of information, instant gratification, and a very level playing field in which nobody competes because nobody wins or loses.
They are blamed for lack of focus, lack of patience, and lack of social skill.   But the reality is that all of these are teachable.  If they can connect with their purpose and learn the most important success mindsets and habits – they will easily become they leaders they need to be.
But where is that training happening?   Nowhere.  And I’d like to change that with Fuse Chamber.
I’m introducing this ‘Series’ on Millennial leadership to discuss the issues that matter and create a tribe of people who want to learn – people who do care.
I hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts.

Click here to listen to the full episode.

Fear

If there was one thing I could fix in all people.  It would be fear.   Not the healthy fear that gives you pause before jumping into traffic or out of an airplane, but the irrational fear that stops you from jumping into the work that gives your life meaning.
In both cases, the cause of the fear is the same.   We fear physical and existential harm.  So when we assume things are unsafe, our body invokes the fear response that dries us up, shuts off our rational brain, and prepares the body to fight, flee, or hide.  The effect is devastating on performance and on self-confidence, so it has to be stopped.   This prevents you from having good friends and relationships, asking for the things you really need and want, getting the job you deserve, and living the life that matters to you by creating the things you want to create.
There are simple techniques to help you overcome it.   It starts with being aware when fear starts to rumble and pick up steam.  If you can learn to identify it, you can experiment with methods to short-circuit it.   it takes a lot of practice but it is extremely gratifying practice – it generates tangible results right away – and I think once you start to see progress, it will be a little breakthrough that will inspire you to keep working on it for as long as it takes – until it no longer blocks your progress and poisons your mind.

How to Summon the Muse

The best way to have good ideas is to have lots of ideas.   Creativity has to be practiced.  It is not something you are blessed with, and its not something that visits you from another realm.  You just have to do the dirty work, realize you will suck at the beginning, and that time and intelligent, hard work are the only things standing in the way of getting better.   I’ve said it before – success comes to those who are willing to do the ugly, hard work it takes to get there, and creativity is no exception.
The process has three parts:
  1. Writing for the wastebasket means sitting down on a schedule to generate as much content as you can without judgement as to its quality.   If you’re stuck, start really small – 1/2 page or less is fine – until you slowly shake the fear, and then you can write more.   Keep everything you write.
  2. Go through all of your raw work to find things that stick out, go together, or lend themselves to further development.  You’ll know them when you see them
  3. Once you’ve collected the right snippets, you have to do the work of expanding, refining, cutting…whatever it takes to get it to ‘done’
Sometimes the idea generation is the hardest part.  We expect the inspiration to hit us, but it rarely does.   You can put yourself in nature, in new environments, or isolate yourself from distractions so you can do your best, focused work.
The hard part is getting started – you’ve got to push through that fear.   How bad do you want it?
Here the complete episode here.