The Pen And Journal

Always, always carry a pen and journal with you.

Then you will never have the one that got away experience.

The idea, the girl, the license plate number, whatever it may be.

If you are a writer, you may understand more so, heck, you may even be wondering why the hell I was walking around without a pen and journal in the first place. The journal and the pen are vehicles, they are your confidence, they are everything necessary to making honest and accountable progression in your life.


Stay Positive & You Never Know When You Will Need Them … But I Guarantee There Will Be A Time That You Do

Garth E. Beyer

Women Writers

truly know what they are doing. In light of my Women in Literature class I am taking and my rediscovery of a particular page in Keri Smith’s Living Out Loud, I’d like to share Keri’s 10 characteristics of women writers.

Oh yea, and don’t make fun of me for having the book. I had no clue it was created primarily for women when I got it!


1. A passion for nature.

2. A connection with something greater than themselves.

3. A connection with childhood memories.

4. A connection to other artists, writers, and creators,

5. A sharing of ideas and inspiration: creative gatherings, dinners, support groups, café meetings, letter writing, afternoon teas.

6. A need for, and confidence in, solitude.

7. A capacity for self-motivation: inspiring walks, travel, learning new skills, reading, cooking, exploring.

8. An experience of pain, and the triumph of moving beyond it to create a well of strength.

9. A gift of mindfulness and an ability to see magic in the ordinary.

10. An experience of gratefulness and compassion for all the good things and people in their lives.


But then again, I wouldn’t have been able to share this with you if I hadn’t.


Stay Positive & Having Passion Is Always More Beautiful Than Makeup

Garth E. Beyer

The Moment Your Work Becomes Easy

It means that you are playing it safe, that you have gotten comfortable.

Yes, you can be painting 25 portraits a week, writing 11 hours a day, starting a new business every 13 months and that is A LOT to do. But if it’s easy, if it has become habit, a routine that you know you have to do and you do it half-consciously, then it loses its meaning.

The saying goes that if you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse. There are millions of artists, writers and entrepreneurs painting one more portrait than you, writing for one more hour than you, and starting one more business than you. The experience they get from doing just a bit more trumps you considerably. 

By being “trumped”, I mean, you’re fired and they’re hired. All because you quit pushing yourself and increasing the difficulty level.

— I’ve written every day, typically winding up publishing what I write. I also have a steady writing/editing job. On the side, I write in every category of writing words will stay and force the words where they wont stay just for experience. But it’s gotten easy. It’s natural for me to type anywhere from 300 – 3,000 words a day whether they are worth a damn or not. I think I may be standing still. —

And when that happens, when you stand still, when it becomes easy, there are two choices: settle a stay comfortable or do more, work harder, experience extra, invite challenges, and not go one mile further but aim for 10, 20, 30 miles ahead.

By the way, if you aren’t willing to run/paint/write/create/etc. more than you are now, drop out and find what will never be easy for you. Being comfortable and having your routine means that you are standing still.

And if you click the link, you know what I say: People die standing still.


Stay Positive & Aggrandize Your Passion

Garth E. Beyer

Unlocking Potential: Interview #5

I love when people ask questions. But I’ve missed a huge part of the process. Like many others, I have always taken an exciting interest in answering questions and the discussion that follows, but I haven’t necessarily focused on the question-asking. It wasn’t until I spoke with Michelle that I learned there can be so much more to the questions that are asked in addition to the answers one may receive.

Michelle was trained in the criminal justice system at an early age and learned the importance of asking questions through clinical training (she’s a licensed social worker). As a probation officer, she relied heavily on facilitating conversations with clients in order to develop productive working relationships. And, you guessed it, asking questions was a big part of that.

Have you considered how business, social media, and finding connections is primarily fostered by the right questions? Can you imagine creating a job of your dreams based on assessment, questioning, and curiosity? Michelle is not only living proof, but lively proof that you can get the right answers if you ask the right questions. She excitedly participated in my Unlocking Potential interview, adding a fresh, unique addition to my series. (You can view the others here)


Interview: Michelle Welsch

GB: I would love to know what you think your passion, or your life purpose is. You have this fire, this passion that is evident. What fuels it?

My passion has always been people. I love to learn about what makes people tick and hear their stories, learning about their world and how they see things. I’m fortunate that the work that I do helps people share their stories with others. Connecting people only amplifies that. I like watching people make strides professionally and personally, and I like to think I help people do this through observation, helping people own and recognize their own brand story and introducing others who might enhance their work. My focus has mostly been, “How can I help others?” — I had never seen myself in the driver’s seat, always walking alongside people and businesses and companies I might help reach their goals. But with Project Exponential, I’ve realized I’m now steering my own ship.

GB: I see that many of your writings and blog posts are inspirational and talk about courage and challenge. Do you write everyday? Do you see writing as a practice?

You can write everyday, but that doesn’t mean you have to publish every day. It’s valuable to get into the habit of writing. That moment of brilliance will never come if you’re waiting. You could be waiting a very long time for that perfect moment. The perfect circumstance will probably never happen, and then you’ll never finish anything. Just get in the habit of writing ideas, notes, quotes, observations about things you see that inspire you. You have to practice seeing the world in a way that corresponds to words. You learn to verbalize and communicate in a different way and how to transfer your thoughts onto paper. While practice can make the process more fluid, with anything there are ebbs and flows. I try to aim for moderation. Often times those moments when you think you have nothing to say are the important moments when you have to force yourself to write anyway.

GB: I have to ask, is there a book in store?

I’ve flirted with this idea, but we’ll see. It might be a fun goal. Recently I came across Austin Kleon’s advice: “Write the book you’d want to read.” I’m not entirely sure what I’d write about just yet. I’d need to have more of a concrete idea before I really consider.

GB: I just finished reading Keri Smith’s book: Living Out Loud. She mentions all great female writers have an intrinsically unique connection to nature. I’ve seen some recent photos of a trip to Peru on your twitter feed. Are the outdoors important to you?

I grew up in Colorado where the outdoors are an integral part of life. When I first moved to New York, I thought I was going to have to give that up. But I found Discover Outdoors and the Upper West Side, surrounded by Riverside Park, Morningside Park, and Central Park. Being outside has always been super important to me. I get the best ideas when I’m outside and running around. The ideas always happen when I’m someplace in Central Park, and then I have to repeat it over and over in my head until I can come home and write it down. I think that’s when the best moments happen, when you’re in a different environment.

GB: Now I’m going to shift the subject a bit. What’s it like working with Seth Godin? Do people equate you with him?

Working with Seth has been some of the most rewarding work I’ve done. He’s incredible to work with. With Seth, his work is his. It’s about picking yourself and creating your own name.

GB: You’ve certainly done that. How have your past experiences impacted your work?

My resume is a little nontraditional. I’ve managed to draw valuable lessons from a variety of environments — the court room, the South Bronx, higher ed settings, and clinical therapeutic settings. My transition from social work into the corporate, business world started really slowly. When I freelanced for Interbrand, I was a consultant in this very buttoned up corporate world, but I would often teach people the same skills I would teach, let’s say in probation or to disadvantaged youth, how to be genuine, human and approachable when communicating. My experience there acted as a type of “mini-MBA” and showed me what skills I could bring from my former career path into this new world of business and tech.

GB: It seems your consulting work helped lay the foundation for the creation of Project Exponential: the transition, the growth, the learning, the insight, and most importantly, the transferring of skills. I’m so curious about what you do. After looking through Project Exponential’s website, I immediately related to your passion, mind-set and way of thinking. I imagine you’re someone who likes to dabble in a little bit of everything (most of us who strive for success do). Is that why you make events where really different people come together?

When I first began to make the career switch, I started wondering what kinds of work people would do if they borrowed from a different industry — whether it would be better, more interesting, more creative. I started sending email introductions to people I had encountered who had similar interests or parallel work. Sometimes best intentions fall flat, and the intended coffee dates wouldn’t always happen. So I began selecting individuals and extending invitations to unique locations I had reserved throughout New York City. I wanted to run my fingers horizontally through industry verticals.

GB: So what happens during a Project Exponential event?

It’s always different, depending on who is there and what kind of space I choose to complement the group. The venues change; it could be a private room in a trendy restaurant where attendees have to walk through the kitchen, past the chef and the dishwashers to find it. I’ve held some at wine shops that separate part of the store for us while we are there. I’ve also hosted attendees in a basement dining room, and they’re treated to a four course meal. It’s an experience.

Before events, I spend time with each attendee, learning more about their work and creative process. It’s kind of like an assessment. I create specific, tailored exercises for each event so that people can learn more about each others work. One of my favorite parts of my work is to find the balance of structure, easing anxieties of being in a foreign place with strangers and creating the backdrop for serendipity to take place.

GB: Your understanding how to create problems and questions specifically to each group you curated is extraordinary. You’ve stepped away from traditional networking conventions. Why is it important to you to protect the names and titles of those attending?

I want to create a space where everyone’s on the same playing field. This anonymity allows people the freedom to step away from their work and whatever preconceived notions or judgements someone might have about what they do for one evening and connect with others in a meaningful way. There are plenty of events that list of the names of attendees. You go, hoping to meet specific people there and may walk way with a few business cards that, if you’re lucky, turn into something remarkable. You may also miss meeting a handful of incredible people who didn’t have the job or the title you wanted to see.

I have seen magic take place at Exponential events; people are following up with coffee dates, planning bike rides, helping each other with business ideas and expanding their networks. I’ve watched design directors brainstorm with entrepreneurs, athletes mix with CEOs, and writers engage in hearty conversation with bankers. My aim is to use this momentum to inspire others to do the same, step out of their industries and put themselves in new environments where boundaries can be crossed. I want people to ask, “How can I disrupt things?” and make something happen.

GB: What has been a highlight of your work with Project Exponential?

I take a lot of time putting each group together. With each event, I consider who needs to meet and at what point during the evening this connection might take place. Connections and common interests aren’t always clear, but it’s up to me to connect the dots. If I’m honest, there’s a quite a bit of anxiety for me in delivering something magical for each attendee, but it’s incredibly rewarding to watch two people interact in the way I had envisioned. I try to focus on providing the backdrop for magic to occur and let the people take care of the rest.

GB: What inspired you to make this career change? What got you going and what’s propelled you forward?

The move from the social good world to what I’m doing now was intentional but not necessarily direct. I knew that I needed to take specific action to get into the next realm and took small, manageable steps. With Exponential, it took more coaxing and courage, and I had to make the decision to commit to it. Seth’s work helped quite a bit.

We grow up learning that we have to find the job, do the work, and get paid. Suddenly it clicked: “What a minute, I can create this dream job I’ve been searching for.” And then it’s a matter of jumping. At first, it’s a bit of a bungee jump feeling — exciting and scary but you can’t wait to see what happens.

GB: How do you try to live your life? Are there any quotes that have inspired you?

“Leap, and the net will appear.” -John Burroughs

You have to take risks. No decision in life is irreversible. It’s much better to go and do and figure out how to fix it, and you’ll feel that much more satisfied with having tried it. You just have to do it. Jump. Go. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the wrong direction, you may end up with a more scenic, memorable ride. Just go. That’s how I ended up in New York.

Look and see how you can shake things up, be fearless. Whether it’s walking home from work a different way, trying a new restaurant, placing yourself in a new environment to meet new people, inviting random people to your house — just open that space for different things to come your way. It doesn’t have to be huge.


You can find Michelle and her work online, most recently here. I have also shared a few of my favorites below.

You can ask Michelle questions of your own on twitter @redheadlefthand or send her an email at

To learn more about her project, visit


Stay Positive & #impresario

Garth E. Beyer

A Writer Needs To Be Wrong

I want to be wrong.


So often writers and people in general second guess everything, especially what they write. They then cross it out, erase it, work around it or completely rewrite it. After you do this for so long, you eventually just handle the process in your head without realizing it. You begin to think of every word, sentence, and part of grammar before you write it.

–R.I.P Paragraph that I wrote and erased–

Now it may be safe, but it’s not healthy for a writer to do so. It disconnects you from a flow of writing which is much more important than the flow of thinking. – In which case that would make you a philosopher, not a writer –

Moreover, you would surely agree that writers learn from their mistakes and though they may still make them in their minds, they are not acknowledging them, learning from them or are able to look back at them and see where the mind strayed off track.

The ability to not only learn from mistakes, but actually play with them, develop with them and write with them allows the writer to explore purity. I say purity because everything that you have ignored, every angle you avoided writing from, every idea that you felt went off the story line has never been touched or tampered with and so it remains pure.

After you write for some time, you will learn that what most people want to read is pure writing and to find pure writing, you have to do the manual labor of writing on ideas that you would normally and subconsciously cross out or erase.

I always say, if hair on your chest makes you a man, scribbles and crossed out words makes you a writer.


Stay Positive & Purity In Writing Is Unlimited

Garth E. Beyer

Unlocking Potential: Interview #3

I was thinking about motivation (what’s new…). I thought about how much I love to motivate people, I mean, I live for it, I give motivational speeches and obviously I write a lot of motivational content. The question popped in my mind, what motivated me to motivate people?

I came up with two answers. The first is that seeing people like Zig Ziglar, Seth Godin, or my interviewee today Karthik, motivate other people. If there weren’t people motivating other people, nothing would get done in the world, it would be void of accomplishments that matter. The second answer is that I am freaking amazed at us, at people, at human beings. Our abilities are out of this world, literally. I simply want to bring out more of these godlike abilities in people, I want to continue to be amazed at a higher level which means I need to motivate more.

This is an aspect of the Unlocking Potential series. To motivate these artists and to have these artists be motivated to motivate other artists. If you are just jumping in, you can catch Interview #1 here and Interview #2 here.

Without further do,
Interview: Karthik Puvvada

As you know from my “Pick Yourself” post, I attended Seth Godin’s Pick Yourself event in New York a couple of months ago. This interview, the third in my Unlocking Potential series, is with Karthik Puvvada, a friend who I met as a member of Seth’s tribe. Karthik’s blog is one I visit often for, not so much for information on how to fail, be free and break the status-quo (although it’s loaded with it), but for a reminder that there are other people like me that have a truly unbelievable spirit for progress, an unstoppable force for enjoying life and making the most out of it in every way possible. This is only touched on in Karthik’s introduction to the interview and provides great insight to the rest of the Q&A. -Enter Karthik-

My story:

I’m Karthik Puvvada and I hail from India. And like most Indians, I was brought up in a very conservative and struggling middle class family nudging and budging my childhood dreams with whatever little money we had.  Since I was born into the era of  “Great Indian Outsourcing Boom”,  I was compelled to chose the well established path of becoming an engineer and to work at a software company that I disliked.

I was clearly unhappy with what I was doing with my life.  Modifying bits and pieces of computer software written by some other engineers didn’t seem appealing to me. Especially when I loved building things. Especially when I believed I should be able to create things.

As a kid I dreamt about robotics,  and that suddenly appeared to me as my next destination. Despite heavy peer pressure and uncertainty of how I’d manage the finances to afford such a costly technological degree, I gave all the entrance tests with full vigor and hope.

After a dramatic turn of events, and with help of some amazing people, here I am, in the USA,  doing Masters majoring in Robotics with full scholarship.  I started believing in dreams even more from then.

This phenomenal dream-come-true incident in my life changed my perspective totally. It gave me enormous CONFIDENCE to go get what I want in life. I started reviving my half-killed dreams from childhood.

Writing is one.

Q: What would you die without?

Fire in the belly.  If there’s going to be a day when I feel sapless about my dreams, and give up on them, that day, you can proclaim me dead. Officially. I don’t see any reason to be called alive when I’ve killed my dreams. I am what my dreams are. The rest is just a piece of flesh.

Writing, film-making, advertising, technology startups, for now I’m in love with these. So badly that I can exchange going to heaven for a chance to live my dreams.  This feeling, the feeling of otaku, the feeling of going any far to follow your passions in life is what I call “fire in the belly” and that is something I can’t afford to live without.

Q: How much time does following your passion consume each day? What is a typical day in your life’s conquest?

It’s an interesting question because the time it actually consumes to me is irrelevant.  I rather count it based on whether I had done the task I intended to do for that day or not.

Consider blogging. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes to write a blogpost, and sometimes 3 full hours. The beauty of imagination is it’s without limits. All kinds of limits, including time.

But, yeah, if I look back and estimate an average number, I think I spend around 2hrs per day on writing. The rest of time I spend on my other passions.  And on sleeping.  And on eating. And wait, on bathing too.

Q: How do you go about searching and finding motivation/inspiration?

Two things. One, I go outwards into the huge sea of knowledge online and offline and try to find stuff that stimulates my thinking. Something that pushes me away from my comfort zone. Something that provokes my mind, into action.

Steve Jobs, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Mahatma Gandhi, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Neithzche, Swami Vivekananda,  Gautam Buddha, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Randy Pausch ,Jon Goethe, Rabindranath Tagore,  Aristotle,  Michelangelo, David Ogilvy etc.

I read a lot about these incredible people. And their incredible faith in themselves that they can change the world.

Second, I go inwards into myself finding resonance for all that I read. There is a deeper level of consciousness in your own self that you can actually unleash if you poke it long enough.

It unravels an incredible urge that was within you all these years to do something in this world. To make your presence felt. To shake the world gently. Not for the heck of fame or money,  but to leave a legacy in the world, to leave a story of yours, to write your own destiny. This motivates me frantically. Sometimes, the motivation stays for weeks and drives me nuts to do something I thought I couldn’t do earlier.  I will elaborate on this in the further discussion.

Q: What two habits have you developed that produce the best results?

Over the past 2 ½ months, the greatest habit I have developed is the habit to develop a habit.  Like I wrote here, it was extremely painful for me to write everyday initially.

Most amateur writers would know that, after a few days, the challenge of writing something original is by itself a challenge and to do it every single day makes it even more of a nightmare. But still I didn’t give up. There were days where I sat with my laptop for hours and yet couldn’t produce an interesting write-up. But still I didn’t give up.  I tried just once more. That made the difference I think.

I once wrote, “The greatest thing about doing the greatest thing is actually doing it.”

So I knew there is no red button.

Though it didn’t look appealing to me initially, I realize how accurate Steve Pavlina was. He speaks about creating a habit, like a ritual everyday and doing it for 30days. Non stop. If you can pass this phase, most likely you are already enjoying what you are doing and you’ll want to continue. Makes total sense to me.

So, the two habits I’ve developed are a) develop a habit and b) develop a habit. Damn, that is the single most important thing.

Q: Do you plan on shipping a tangible product? Any ideas?

Yes. First, I want to finish up a new screenplay that I started last week. It’s a sci-fi mystery about a delusional scientist on a marooned island.

Second, I want to film an already existing script that I have. It’s going to be about fortune cookies in 3 different countries.

Third, I want to write an ebook, with illustrations, on my most favorite theme, “failing”. I love failing. I think that’s the best thing that happens to me everyday so that I wake up with a better game plan.

Fourth, I want to start up a new project on advertising this September online.

Q: How do you conquer the troubles that come with trying to write every day? (Time, Writers block, etc)

Simple. Have an iron will. I earlier had a plastic one I guess. It would always give up on my dreams. But this time around, I took the pains to form an iron will. The will to do it at any cost. Anyhow. Anywhere.

I remember writing a blog post borrowing a friend’s laptop after having a tiring day of paintball shooting.  I wrote one in a vacation in Chattanooga. I wrote one while I was sick with a stomach bug. When I’m in my regular daily routine, taking time out for writing is easy because I would have planned the day accordingly. It was quite a challenge to do the same when I’m out on the roads travelling or camping etc. Still, the iron will to do what I wanted to do cleared the way for me.

I don’t do it for the count, I don’t do it for the world. I do it ‘coz I challenged the most important person in my life, Myself.

Writing block, well, here’s where the travelling inwards theory I spoke above helps me. Swami Vivekananda spoke volumes about the power of the mind. He says, the question is in the mind, and if you look deeply, and probe keenly, the answer too is in the same mind, just a few blocks away.

It was a fantastic eye-opener for me. All my frustration, disgust and restlessness vanish into thin air whenever I recall this, and I head straight into a peaceful self-questioning mode. And voila, it has worked magic so far.

Q: If you had to give one piece of advice what would it be?

“It’s not the deed; it’s the “doing” that you should attach yourself to.”

I wrote a post titled “Do you love the doing?”. I’d say it is by far the hardest advice anyone can ever follow. But ironically, it is the surest way to excellence according to me.

Q: I believe mottos are vitally important for motivation. Would you create a new motto right now for the readers, a motto they have likely never heard before?

Speaking about how important risk-taking in life, atleast once in a while is, I wrote, “Trust your guts, and remember it’s all about the journey, not the destination. No one jumps of a cliff to experience landing, but to experience flying.”  

The favorite ones I wrote are:

“When your ideas, energy and focus are united by one, you become divided by zero, Mathematically they call it, THE INFINITE!  Be that!”

“Be the king. But first, fight the war.”

Q: As you know, I am on a constant verge to learn new life lessons and share them with people. Do you have any crucially important life lessons you would like to share?

I only have one lesson in my life. The lesson of hope. The lesson of dreams.

Einstein once famously said, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” For me, everything has begun to appear miraculous once I started following my dreams. Once I opened my eyes and shunned my doubts. We want the perfect world. The perfect skills. The perfect people.

And hence we are eternally pissed off at what’s at hand. If you think about it, an email from a teenage artist in Europe telling you how much he loved your writing is a miracle. A subscriber asking you if you majored in English literature is a miracle. A counselor of anti-bullying campaign loving your blog you wrote from miles away is a miracle. What more you want?

Life opens up to the fullest when you are ready to see it positively.

I once wrote, the moon is the moon always, it depends on who you are to perceive it beautifully or full of scars.

Look at life differently. Be the most energetic person you have ever met. Surround yourself with tons of positivity. Make new friendships. With extremely positive people. Have the brightest glimmer of hope in your eye. Feel thrilled about little things. May be you’ll look delusional to your naysayers. But try new things. Fail at them. Fail often. Fail publicly. Have an extra coating to your chest called courage. Coz it takes just one time to get it right, and remember, you will never be the same person again.

Q: Where can people find you and your art?

I write my heart out at


Stay Positive & Purple

Garth E. Beyer                                                                                       “moo”




A Writers Depression: Just Write

I’ve tried my hardest not to insert what I am about to say in a post, but I simply can’t fight it.

I feel like I’ve run out of ideas, my creative brain engine has stopped moving and I am very close to just not writing today.

This happens a lot to many people, that’s why you see articles sparingly posted on blogs, why it takes a writer (a writer!) so long to finish their book or quite simply, for an artist to finish her project. Regardless, it happens.

It may be because I am writing so much during the day on my manifesto Start Schooling Dreams or maybe it’s because I’ve already gone through all the notes I’ve ever taken since I was in high school. The point is, I’ve hit a writers depression. I’ve written so much for so many days that I must have overworked my brain and now my mind has been forced to go cold-turkey on writing. It’s depressing.

Instead of losing hope, I’ve decided to force myself to sit in bed, grab my favorite pen and an old journal I used in high school that has only about 20 blank pages and I refuse to get up until they are all taken up with ideas, doodles, mottos, life tips and art. I’m going to battle depression with my devotion to write.

This is my post for today. I’m going to force myself to write and I hope you pity me enough to force yourself to do something too.

Today, let’s be depressed but let’s still ship something: our writing, our art, our small piece of a big project or at least a story about a time the world was against us, but we were too devoted to let it conquer us.


Stay Positive & Devoted (Just Do It)

Garth E. Beyer