This isn't a stock photo, I shot it today. Our sons and I hiked up to watch the first sunrise of 2023 this morning.
I don't know what they were thinking, but I was thinking that optimism might be just as powerful as discipline and commitment. Optimism lets us take on new challenges without realizing how hard they'll be. Optimism lets us do it again, and again, and again even when they didn't work out the last time.
If resolutions are your thing, optimism is what lets us make them every year, even if they didn't stick last year. But isn't a month of a new resolution every year better than none of that new resolution? A realist might skip resolutions because they won't stick, an optimist will make them over and over again... maybe that's how we make progress.
Professional creatives - we all need a little help sometimes. Here are three that help me and my work:
1. "Building a Storybrand" taught me how to apply traditional story structure to a business.
2. "Storyworthy" is full of tactical advice to make stories better.
3. "The War of Art" is the kick in the behind I need from time to time to keep creating.
What would you add to the list? (note all links are Amazon affiliate links)
Whether you're working on a podcast, a social media channel, creative projects for yourself, artwork, photography, social media, writing, journaling, almost any creative endeavor, you can use this technique to help you make a breakthrough to push yourself to the next level. And this works whether you're doing client work or personal work.
First - an important question. Do you want to do more? To be more? To make a breakthrough? Maybe you want to try solo episodes, or keep to a production schedule, add video, or do more social media, get on tick-tock, or study more, read more, learn more about your topic, learn more about your guests, maybe you want to pick up a whole new skill. That's what this process of creative challenges can do for you.
In these two episodes, I explain, step by step, why this structure works, how to execute on it, how to design the right challenge for yourself, what to do to increase the chances of success and what to do when you fail.
If you want to how do you produce a show that people WANT to listen to - listen to this episode of the "Unconventional Leaders" podcast. Heather Parady asked me so many great questions about how to really elevate your podcasting game!
--> How much to structure your show
--> What it means to Improve your craft
--> Why being yourself is tactical
--> What makes a great host (and what doesnât really matter)
Stephen Warley, founder of "Life Skills that Matter", and host of the "Life Skills that Matter" podcast interviewed me about story. Some of the things we talk about:
- There's so much more to communication than words
- How to start your story
- How to improve with practice
- Why I love the quote "it's not the plan, it's the planning"
Stephen is a great interviewer and this conversation is full of practical tips for telling your story better.
In the digital age, you're not just competing with your neighborhood. You're competing with everyone in the world. So how do you win? Double down on being you. The world doesn't need another Gary V or another Oprah. Gary V is the best Gary V there will ever be. Oprah is the best Oprah there will ever be. But only you can be the best you.
That's the second P in the 5xPs of podcasting, Point of View. Even if you are one of 30 podcasts about crocheting, when you find your voice yours will stand out.
Double down on you!
Photo by Andrea Hagarty |
Marion Abrams, Joe De Sena, Sefra the Seedhuntress, "Dr" Johnny Waite and my son the sound recorder.
Michael Roderick joined me on the Groundeded Content podcast this week. How do you create content that others will share? What if they would share the content without even being asked? Michael Roderick has discovered a framework that you can use - whether you want to be talked about (in a good way) when you leave the room, get people to share your podcast, or need to accelerate the spread of your message. Of course, as always, it's within the context of grounded, genuine conversations and we touch on the big picture philosophy and ethics behind the tactics.
Listen to the full epiosde
Looking back it was a little more than two years ago that a producer, Tim Joy, hired me to shoot a 5-day wilderness canoe expedition. Just to begin meant 11 hours of driving north from my already rural home in Pittsfield, Vermont to lake Temagami. Then a quick boat trip to the island that served as base camp. In my career, I have shot hundreds of subjects in hundreds of locations, and I find every single one unique and exciting - but this ranks among the top 15 along with shooting for Landrover in Sabi Sabi, documenting traditional Greek weavers in small mountain towns, and interviewing Richard Branson on his island.
5 days with no cell service, living 100% outdoors rain, sun, bugs, and all. Capturing the struggle and triumph of a group of amazing young girls as they learned to paddle and portage heavy canoes and gear through thunderstorms, mud, rocks, and sunshine. To set up camp, cook over a fire, and "up and roll" every morning.
Today, after I got this week’s episode of the podcast out, I needed to reignite the creative spark. So I dug up this footage and put together a little video. ( In the original footage there are lots of close-ups and faces, but this was shot for a client and I don’t have the rights to those - so it’s all blue skies, rainy skies, and water. )
I challenged myself to create a series of four videos with myself as host, and to talk about my own creative and personal development journey. I have made fun of people who do this for my entire life...until I started producing Spartan Up podcast and listening and learning from them. There is still a high proportion of blowhards and snake oil salesmen in the self help arena, and yet those reminders, hacks and lessons propel me forward.
As Doug Comstock said - I'm not telling you anything new, I'm just reminding you.
So here is video three of the series. In this video I talk about the two most helpful tactics / principles I have learned.
I challenged myself to make 4 videos about my own personal creative journey. I've been a producer of podcasts and videos for my entire career helping others convey their messages. Now I'm coming out from behind the scenes. This is the second in my self-challenge series and explores the conflict between humility and self expression, and the changes in the video industry.
I'm collecting my "creative Journey" video series here.
It started when I heard an interview with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He said to establish a habit start with something really small, for example one push up a day. It sounds ridiculous. But when you start with a small commitment you'll be more likely to keep it. Once you start keeping it you begin to see yourself in a new light - as someone who does a push up every day.
So I decided I'd run one mile every day. I've written about that, and it's been going pretty well. And James Clear was right. Success there lead me to take on another challenge. When COVID times started I committed to posting a daily photo journal here on my blog for a month. I did that too. I realized that the simple practice of writing and photographing every day was helping me grow as a creative, whether anyone read it or not.
Now I'm challenging myself to create a video, with me as the on camera host, talking about my own creative journey, every week for the next four weeks. Here is the first:
Next week I'm going to talk about the value of keeping your work to YOURSELF.
This blog is a place I share some of the things I think about, the photos I take, and the videos I make. They are about life, family, work, content strategy, content creation and podcasting.