Bottled Up

You can’t be moved by a presentation a week after as passionately as you could be moved the evening of. Inspiration can’t be bottled and saved up for later. Motivation is also addictive for this reason.

We love the feeling of creative potential, of assertive ambition, of being fueled with passion, but the moment the creative spark ignites, so does the lizard brain tricking us to wait until a better moment, to use our knowledge on our next project, not the one we’re currently working on.

Since we don’t recognize it’s the lizard brain speaking up, we feel bad a week later when we’re reminded about the seminar we went to and how we haven’t put to action anything we learned from it. I recall myself saying how ready and stoked I was to write my next novel after a 2-day writing conference. I never did. So what’s the best solution?

Go to another conference, watch another Ted talk, listen to another podcast episode because the energy makes us happy again, which leads to an addictive mentality, a downhill spiral of bottled up and wasted inspiration.

What has helped me prevent wasting creative energy is to remind myself I don’t need to create something huge or wait for something big to release the passion. Immediately after attending a second writing conference, I wrote an incomplete story. I spent about 20 minutes writing while I ate lunch.

Two things happened.

One, I learned inspiration is quickly spent. The creative juice waned after 15 minutes of writing, but when I first put pen to paper, I thought I was pumped up enough to write for hours.

Two, I was proud of myself later in the day and even a week later when I thought back to the conference and how I used the inspiration. Even though it was a short incomplete story about an irish boxer who had a fascination with things colored orange, I had conquered my lizard brain.

Don’t bottle up your inspiration. Don’t hang on to motivation. Put it to use, make something, write something, do something differently, and remember, it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be.


Stay Positive & You’ll Often Come Out Even More Inspired (by yourself!)

What Is Efficiency Anyway?

When you say you’ve done a lot, do you also say how well you did it? Likely didn’t think about it.

On the flip side, when you’ve done something really awesome, borderline remarkable, you’re sure to say just how long it took you.

In the game of making things better, we swap quality out with speed. We call ourselves efficient in terms of how much we get done instead of looking at the quality of our work. Speed instead of quality.

Speed is an objective community perception, easily recognizable and measured.

Quality, though, is more subjective. Quality can be compared with what everyone in the agency has made or it can be compared with your personal average. A bit more hard to measure.

In the marketing world, we have enough of the pace-type efficiency. We’ve spent years mastering it, creating charts, laying out entire office cultures based on it. In terms of speed, I’d say we’re near maximum efficiency.

Now that capacity has been met, we have an opportunity to redefine efficiency and pursue filling the void we’ve ignored all these years. We can stop trying to check more boxes and start starring them because we’ve done work that matters, work that’s special.

Being forward, it’s hard to create remarkable work (art) because it’s easier to see ourselves working faster, checking more boxes, getting to more meetings than it is to image ourselves making something remarkable.

To do so, we have to think differently, talk differently, and start seeing things differently.

The neat thing about remarkable work is it’s rooted in the saying, “we’re doing X, but just a bit differently.” No need to invent a new wheel, just think differently about the one you’re using. Only then can you begin giving meaning to the term “efficiency” again. And for that, thank you.


Stay Positive & A Little Different Can Go A Long Way

Why You Pick Up To Read

I’ve never understood why people write books with the purpose of offering a blanket solution or mindset for working with clients, starting a business or becoming successful. Equally so, I can’t fathom how people purchase them.

I simply can’t buy into the idea that what an author may be suggesting works for any and every situation I could find myself in.

Yet, authors sell books in the form of fake guarantees, rather, we assume there’s a guarantee that if we follow all the steps described then we will become equally successful.


The books that matter, the books I can buy into are the ones that get you to think differently. Seth Godin, Tom Robbins, Gregory Berns, to name a few. They make you uncomfortable. They make you feel slightly inadequate, but feed you the motivation to be different, to claim your self-worth, to think about things differently.

The interesting angle to all of this is a book’s benefits is based on the mindset you go in with when reading it. Are you looking for safety, certainty, security? Or are you looking to be challenged, for a fresh perspective, to think about things differently?

The motto ringing true in my life recently is new is always better. New thoughts. New perspectives. New world views.


Stay Positive & It’s Not So Much What You Pick Up, It’s Why

(HT to Alex & Maggie)

Things To Consider About Getting Ahead

These work. They always have. They’re simply often forgotten.

1) Do what others won’t. I don’t mean clean the toilets or put in more hours than them. I mean do things others don’t even think of doing. Think outside your span of present duties.

2) You can’t rely on others to tell each other (or your boss) about your awesomeness, you have to tell them yourself. You can talk about what you’ve accomplished without it sounding as if you’re egotistical.

Just like Michael and I discussed on the latest In The Box Podcast episode, you can either complain about grunt work by saying how much you dislike it or you can joke about how terrible it is.

The same goes for talking about work you’ve done that matters. There’s the bragging way and there’s the extremely proud, emotionally light way of sharing the feeling of accomplishment with another person.

3) Find ways to give to those around you. Pulling from the past, here’s three things you can always give – no money or baking skills required.


Stay Positive & Get Ahead, It’s Where You Belong

Episode 7: Disney Movie Secrets, Print Advertising, Vacations And More

Episode 7: Disney Movie Secrets, Print Advertising, Vacations And More

On this episode of In The Box Podcast, we did things a bit different. In addition to talking about email scams, what it’s like to not be surprised anymore, and how to relax on vacation knowing there’s work to be done when you get back, we brought forth a few internet resources to help guide a discussion around Disney movie secrets, terrible (and great) print ads, and beer labels. You can find the links below. Enjoy.

Episode 7: Disney Movie Secrets, Print Advertising, Vacations And More

Disney Movies – Why do you think Disney puts so many secrets in their movies? Just to make secret finders happy? Link to a list of Disney movie secrets

Print advertising – Why are there still terrible print ads? Link to 30 awesome print ads in 2014

Beer labels – Do you think using vulgar names or label images degrades the beer (or even the whole beer industry)? Link to offensive beer labels

Email scams – How the hell are email scams still a thing?

Surprises – How often do you find yourself surprised by something?

Vacations – Are you able to relax on vacation knowing you have a lot of work waiting for you when you get back?


Stay Positive & Be Sure To Subscribe On Itunes


I get asked time and time again how I do it all, and my answer often changes.

Here it is now.

I do it because the voice in my head, the song in my heart won’t let me not do it. I don’t have superpowers. I’m not privileged more than anyone else. I may think about things differently, but I see them the same as you and the next person.

But, and I suppose this is a big but, that voice inside my head won’t settle until I see if I can do it, until I try to make what I want happen, until I give all the art and inspiration to create it I can.


Stay Positive & Are You Listening To The Voice In Your Head?