Take The Time To Provide Feedback

You're Doing It Wrong (Feedback)

Feedback is one of the many practical, but often difficult practices of a leader, manager or the alike. It’s often ignored because it’s an uncomfortable practice to criticize someone’s work meaningfully; to provide legitimate advice that doesn’t pain the emotions of the one being critiqued.

To sit down with a person and carefully show them all that they’ve done wrong is not something anyone – whether  they are in a leadership role or not – looks forward to, which is why so many resort to sending an email instead. I plead you refrain from that method.

Providing in-person feedback is vitally important for the future success of those needing the critique. Not only do you both work through being uncomfortably vulnerable and leave having learned from mistakes, there’s also a behind-the-conscious interpretation of feedback on the receiver’s end.

By receiving feedback, they know they can keep improving, that you believe there’s more to them than what they’re showing, and it gives them something to strive for.

Consider this perspective: What are you telling them when you don’t provide feedback? When you don’t provide feedback, you communicate that you don’t think they can do better, that they can’t learn from their mistakes, that you don’t see them as capable of improvement. Is that how you want your employees, partners, friends to feel?

Feedback. Provide it.


Stay Positive & It’s Time Well Spent, It’s An Investment, It’s Worth It

Photo credit

What You Don’t Realize You’re Getting Paid For

Right now, as you’re reading this, you’re getting paid to ignore the trolls, turn your shoulder to the critics and shun the naysayers. Invite this belief into your world: you get paid to mute those who try dragging you down. I have yet to measure an action that receives more return on investment than ignoring trolls.

Concerned there’s an honest opinion that may help improve your work somewhere deep in the paragraph of disdain. Why not ask a friend to read the comment for you and let you know if they agree with anything. The thing about trolls is they will keep on trolling. The thing about friends is they can provide true, helpful criticism.

Ignore the trolls. Keep your faith, your motivation, your passion.

Listen to them. Lose everything.

It’s a downward spiral.


Stay Positive & You Can’t Please Everyone (Nor Should You Want To)

Is A Decision

Cutting this to do that… is a decision.

Being busy… is a decision.

Staring at the blank page/canvas/map in front of you instead of forging on… is a decision.

Admitting defeat… is a decision.

Picking yourself up after rejection… is a decision.

Picking yourself to lead… is a decision.

Wearing two different socks… is a decision.

Running from fear… is a decision. So is dancing with it.

“I don’t have time”… is a decision.

Your motivation… is a decision.

Cutting corners and making shortcuts… is a decision.

Being in it for the long-haul… is a decision.

Not moving forward with a project because your partner back out… is a decision.

Everything you do throughout the day you decide to do. So it is with what you think, how you feel, who you talk to, who you ignore. Noticing each decision may not make you feel comfortable or safe. In fact, it will likely be the opposite. Yet, it’s exactly how you will get to where you want to go: quicker, stronger, happier.

Controlling your life… is a decision.


Stay Positive & No One Said Steering A Boat In Rough Waters Was Easy



Using All Your Potential: Bullying And Psychological Cardio

There’s extreme power in balance, in meditation, in flow. I just don’t believe you can use all your potential that way. If you think of an idea and proceed to ruminate, perhaps you’ll reach a symbolic conclusion. Then what? What if you think of an idea and then run with it, try it out, make it happen? Psychological cardio.

Forget all adjectives used to describe ideas. An idea is an idea. The real meaning of it is defined by what you do with the idea, how far you run with it, what you shape it into. Don’t tell me what kind of idea it is. It doesn’t matter. Show me.

How do you run with an idea? That’s where bullying comes in. I’m not fond of the connotation bullying has taken on; it’s completely negative. There’s so much more we can learn from it. We are our own best bullies.

Track coaches are great bullies too. They push you to run further, they yell at you to run faster, they blow their whistle to get you to try the jump again, only this time, jump higher.

B2B bosses are great bullies too. They’ll tell you to go back and do something again until it’s right, they hold meetings with you just to tell you where you are failing and how to improve, they adapt negative reinforcement strategies into their training.

And as I said, we are our own best bullies. We have the chance everyday to steal our own lunch money, to trip ourselves up on a project, to hate on ourselves when we half-ass something. However, we can also yell at ourselves to get up off the ground, to blow a mental whistle signaling to try something again (practice, practice, practice), and to threaten ourselves with unemployment.

Every person I’ve spoken to who states they are self-employed, also tells me “my boss can be a real ass sometimes.”

Rightfully so! As a friend Tweeted at me yesterday, it’s not about seeing just the forest or just the trees, it’s not all in or nothing. She means that it’s a dance. We can institute positive reinforcement, but if we want to reach our fullest potential, there must also be negative reinforcement. To get the most out of our rumination, we also need to act on our thoughts. Think about it in terms of bullying.

What you hear about bullying is only the negative extremes of it. You never hear of bullying gone right even though it happens in our lives everyday and turns out some of the most talented artists.

You have a chance to redefine bullying, you have a chance to build up your psychological cardio, you have a chance to use all of your potential. You can read all the inspirational quotes you want, but follow them up with the crack of a bull whip.


Stay Positive & Yes, Bullying CAN Be A Good Thing

Don’t forget to help stop the bad bullying

A Riff And Reward For Reading (Self-Promotion On Twitter)

I use Twitter to interact with people and it peeves me when people use it to spam. I can deal with the links and self-promotion in my feed. What I can’t stand is when I get a direct message that is so obviously programmed. There’s a picture of a person, but the message is robotic. The latest is from Alex Mathers who is exceptionally smart and produces really sweet content, but his promotional methods are…questionable.

So impersonal

Occurrences like this remind me of my post about Pandora advertising its alarm option even after I had set the alarm up.

If you’re going to promote, then quit promoting once your customer does or buys what you’re promoting. Think of the last thing you sold to someone. Once the exchange was made, you didn’t keep telling them that they should buy what is now in their hands. Right?

Anyway, to thank you for reading this rant, I’ve taken the common questions asked by working creatives that Alex answered on his blog and have answered them in my way here.

1. How do I find my first clients if no one knows me?

Try making a better product or service first. If that doesn’t work, then you need to create something different. Skip all this hassle by figuring out what people in a tribe want before you establish a product or service.

Getting clients isn’t hard. Creating something people want is.

2. Should my style appeal to what is in demand or be about what I enjoy?

You know the answer to this. Both.

3. How do I earn more?

Easy things aren’t scarce. Hard things are scarce. Scarce things have value. By doing something hard, you’re creating something of value. The more value, the more you can earn.

4. How do I know what to charge for my creative work?

Charge what you would pay for it. It’s damn difficult to sell something for $1,000 if you don’t believe it’s worth that much.

5. How do I move from full-time employment to going freelance?

Slowly. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to work your ass off for it. Wake up earlier. Go to sleep later. Cut the little things out of your life until you make the transition.

6. How can I sell more of my stuff without being too pushy and ‘salesy’?

Read one book on sales. That’s all you need. They all say the same thing. After you read it, go take a job in sales. I did for a month and practiced what I read in the book. The only reason you don’t know how is because you’re not forcing yourself to figure it out.

7. I don’t have any time to spend on my creative career. What do I do?

Quit lying to yourself. We all have 24 hours in the day.

8. How do I network with people if I’m introverted?

 Watch this

9. Do I need to understand the basics of running a business to succeed?

Do athletes need to understand the basics of their sport in order to perform at the Olympics? That’s where you want to go, right? To the top?

10. How long do I need to spend working to become an expert at my craft?

If you simply won’t move forward without knowing, they say 10,000 hours. How long isn’t important though. What matters is how well you work to become an expert, not how many hours.

11. How do I balance my job, social life and creating in my spare time?

Understand that you’re on a teeter-totter and you’re on it with someone who weighs a bit more than you. No one consistently balances. Prepare for the constant give and take. It’s what makes it worth it.

12. Why can’t I get motivated about what I do?

You’re afraid of something. Figure out what it is and proceed to dance with it. (Also search “fear” on my website, I write a lot about it.)

13. How do I freelance without getting lonely?

By creating something that makes people feel less lonely.

14. I never get any jobs through social media. What am I doing wrong?

You need to use social media to make connections and meet people. It’s when you meet people that you get offered a job. More people get jobs from people, not tweets; they get them in person, not online.

15. How do I get more likes on Facebook?

First ask yourself if that’s where most of your revenue is coming from. If it’s not, then spend more time where the revenue is coming from, likes will follow from that.

If you do get most of your revenue from likes on Facebook and want more likes, then offer more on Facebook, showcase people who use your product or service by giving shout outs or uploading photos (people love sharing photos that they are in) and be entertaining. Most Facebookers go on to escape the real world. Ask yourself what you have to offer.

16. I have disrespectful, crappy clients. What do I do to change this?

Fire them.

17. I lack the confidence to share my creations with the world. How can I increase belief in my work?

There’s no solution to this. Don’t listen to people who say there is a solution, all they are setting you up for is an uphill battle. What you can do is start by not caring who believes in your work – so long as you do. Build it and they will come.

18. How do I get more traffic to my blog?

Ads work. More content works. Multimedia helps. Getting content published elsewhere will guide others to your blog. The two best steps you can take, though, is to connect with more people outside your blog and to wait (but don’t stand still, that’s not what I mean by waiting. People die standing still).

19. Is it better to be a jack of all trades, or a master at one?

People will ask you what you are an expert at or what your superpower is. Have one. Then know a little about everything else. Enough so you can make friends with people who are experts in all those other things. Now you’ve built a team. Now no one will ask what you’re good at. They will see you as a leader.

20. What is your single biggest tip for succeeding as a solo creative?

Know what success means to you.

21. How do I develop a unique style?

It’s a pain, but writing as much as possible helps. And try caring just a little bit less on whether people approve of your unique style. I laugh when someone calls someone else weird. They make it sound like it’s a rare thing. We are all weird.

22. Do I need a university degree to succeed in this game?

Not exactly in this game. But, in the game of life, it helps a ton.

23. There is so much competition out there. How do I stand out?

You don’t need a million followers to make a million dollars.

24. Why does no one follow me on social media?

Well, I would follow you if I’ve heard about you and like you. If this is the same for others, then either they haven’t heard about you or don’t like you.


Stay Positive & Follow Me @thegarthbox (but don’t expect spam messages)