Age Matters, But Should It?

Age Matters, But Should It?

Steve Jobs has more experience than me, but if I have read up on every single lesson he has learned from all his experience, then does he actually know more? or do we know the same amount? or do I still know less?

I’m toying with the concept of age and why it matters so much. I’ve had a number of experiences where I could do something, but my age got in the way.

While still in high school I applied for a newspaper job, a job people go through four years of college to do and number of internships to get, but I knew I could do it well enough or at least learn fast enough to do it as well as anyone else.

No surprise, I didn’t get the job. I was too young.

I wanted to run a seminar on finances, but was told not enough people would come because what 40-year-old is going to believe anything a 19-year-old has to say, regardless of the fact I’ve written more than 200 articles on money management, started selling at age 6, bought a Corvette at the age of 15, and graduated without any debt and studied everything all the financial gurus put out there.

Even with the experience, I was still too young.

Knowledge is power…so long as you’re at an age people will believe that

I’m constantly blogging about business, startups, and public relations concepts. I’m spitting out things I know to be true, part from experience, part from obsessively studying others’ success and failures and learning from other people.

If I’m not talking to someone about the marketing industry or a business idea either of us have, I have buds in my ear listening to others share their stories via podcasts, if not that, I’m lifting weights while thinking about trends or talking to my girlfriend about the next thing I’m going to chase. I’m a carrot guy, not a stick guy, and I’m still not as trusted as Steve Jobs, Seth Godin or Chris Brogan because, well, they’re older than me.

Knowledge, wisdom, insight are all very subjective matters. I’ve worked heavily the last year and a half to convince others I have all the above despite my (in the grand scheme of things) minimum amount of experience. Through that process I’ve lost connection with a lot of my readers. After an email from a blunt friend and conversation with my girlfriend (likely to be posted on my blog tomorrow), I’ve realized I stopped doing what I preach others to do: be personal.

Age matters, and fighting the perception others have is an uphill battle I’m exhausted fighting. Instead of sharing what I know, I will again be sharing how I came to know it. I’ll show how I’ve become a 22-year-old with a 30-year-old brain and why I find myself saying “I’m such an old man” more often than I like.

I invite you to stop by GarthBox more often. There will be more about my suffering, anxiety, nervousness, uncertainty, risk-taking, and lying to myself, and, of course, how I’ve overcome it all.

 

Stay Positive & Stick Around For The Ride

*In lieu of this sort-of announcement blog post, In The Box Podcast will be available on iTunes beginning of March. My cohost Michael Langlois and I chat about 6 themes, which you’ll know about in advance of each podcast so you can listen to just what you want to hear. I hope you find them all interesting and…personal.


			

Stressful Work, Self-Evaluation And Hacking Your Productivity (And How To Win Monopoly)

Hacking Productivity

It’s been more than two years since I gave a Toastmasters speech. I connected with the president of the club I used to be involved in and had dinner with her yesterday. We chatted about the PR life and how stressful the work is. (Top 10 most stressful careers!)

I agreed that it’s stressful work, but it’s as stressful as you let it be; there are ways to lessen the stress.

One of my old friends gave a speech at the meeting about saving mental energy for more important decisions by limiting the options you have for what to wear. A few months ago I mentioned the benefit of wearing the same outfit each day. Jobs did it. Zuckerberg does it. So many others do it to save mental energy for work and decisions that matter.

What I do each weekend is evaluate my week in terms of stress, productivity, time, focus… all that important stuff that dictates your level of happiness or unhappiness. I stop doing what’s unproductive, I stop having meetings with people who don’t create value, I read more, I freewrite for 15 minutes every night, I meditate in the morning and recite a mantra I wrote – all the things I do and don’t do are done or not done with purpose.

The president asked me something like, “Isn’t that exhausting or stressful to have to be so on top of everything?” She was obviously thinking about the benefit of going with the flow, letting things be, simplifying life (which certainly has its value at times). My response…

It’s fun to hack your productivity, your energy, your focus. It’s like the moment you learn how to win Monopoly: just make sure you buy St. James. Place then begin to build on the orange. Works every time. The excitement of learning, knowing and then implementing the practice which nearly guarantees success is what drives me to reevaluate, review, and renew my objectives of the week each weekend.

Stress is not an external force we have no control over. We design our stress, and by evaluating ourselves on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, we begin to notice what’s working and what isn’t in our lives. We respond rather than react. It’s an art, and there is so much beauty in art.

 

Stay Positive & There Is No Better Game To Hack Than The Work Game

Photo credit
4 Steps To Success (Wisdom From Cambodian Monks)

4 Steps To Success (Wisdom From Cambodian Monks)

Steve Jobs Meditation

While in Cambodia at the POP House (meditation resort) a handful of monks taught me a lot about buddhism, life, and success. After a 20 minute meditation session, one monk began to tell us the four steps to success in life. Now I’m sharing them with you.

1) Affection – Show affection to your friends, to your enemies, to strangers. Find ways to show your love of people, of plants, of the world, of life. Care, not only about others, but your self as well.

2) Try – The likelihood of success is connected to the amount of experience you have. The more you try, the more successful you will be. Not only try things you’ve never tried before, but try things you don’t think you could overcome, don’t think you’ll complete, don’t think will change you. Just try.

3) Comment (on yourself) – You are your own judge of whether something worked or didn’t. You must evaluate your actions to confirm what you’ve done has moved you in the direction you want.  Criticism is pointless, especially when given to others. The monks were firm about concerning yourself only with yourself.

4) Experiment – Put things together that you’ve never imagined combining. Try new designs, interfaces, systems, plans, diets. Success is often the result of experimentations, not well-thought out intentions

Bonus: Be like Steve Jobs. Every monk that taught had told me about Steve Jobs and how he followed these four steps. And he meditated often if you didn’t know.

 

Stay Positive & Your Time Is Limited

Another Day, Another Picasso

“At a time when it was cool to bend the rules of art, Picasso smashed every one.”Picasso

Look at the world of design around us. It’s cool to bend the rules of design. Ogle at what Steve Jobs has done. Even after his accomplishments, I still can’t help but wonder, with the world rewarding those who challenge the status quo and bend the rules of design and connection, who will be the next to smash every one of them?

Stay Positive & Jobs Is Just The Start

Garth E. Beyer

The Struggle

Ralph Steadman

Please tell me I’m not the only one that has had an incredible idea for a piece of art (painting, crochet, whatever) but when going to produce it, it turns out like garbage. And not the progressive kind of garbage where you do it enough times until it turns out the way you want, but the kind of garbage that not even a hobo would appreciate.

While you can read this article, and yes, it’s worth the read, look at the artwork first. It’s incredibly inventive, creative, and if you stare at it long enough, it seems like something we may be able to replicate..well, to some garbagy extent.

Enter: The Struggle

The Struggle is the place of frustrating emotions: between disappointment and geniusness; between euphoria and defeat. We feel The Struggle when we want, so passionately, to be creative, yet, can’t make the jump from our desire to our creation.

Something I’ve learned from Jobs and Pixar is that stories don’t really have a shelf life. Toy Story is as great as it was in 1995. Want to talk about artwork? Look at all the ancient art we still drool over. The fact is, we may not be able to replicate an image we have in our minds, but that doesn’t matter too much.

What matters is that we tell a story with whatever image we end up creating.

For those still worried, you can still create an art piece if you need to add a few lines to tell the story behind it.

 

Stay Positive & Don’t Let Your Inabilities Stop You From Telling Stories

Garth E. Beyer

Photo credit: Ralph Steadman

One Thousand And One Nights (Of Media)

If you’re looking for a great story-teller, there is no one other to look to or compare to than the unbelievably talented Scheherazade (Shuh-Hare-uh-zahd). This goddess of storytelling delayed death by one thousand and one nights simply by telling stories. She did what every reporter, journalist, and center of the media dreams of, and for the same reasons; neither wants to die, be fired, or be humiliated. So what means of attack do they use against death in all its shapes and forms?

Storytelling.

How important is storytelling?

For the eBook I have written called Start Schooling Dreams, I had asked Karthik Puvada, creator and writer of BeThePurpleCow, if he could add just one class to the school curriculum, what class would it be? Immediately, he responded “Storytelling”. I was not satisfied with his single word response, so I pried more to get the following;

“Martin Luther King, Jr.  Steve Jobs. Gandhi. Mark Twain.  Pablo Picasso.

What’s one thing they all have in common?  Yes, they were geniuses in their own fields, but they also were brilliant in something else too.

Storytelling.

They told influential stories all throughout their lives. The stories that defined them. The stories that captivated millions of people around them. Some ended up as iconic books, some as revolutionary civil protests, some as incredible gadgets and some as legendary paintings. But they were all various forms of stories, more importantly ideas.”

You may now be wondering what this has to do with media. Since the introduction of media, the stories of Scheherazade and the incredible world changers that Karthik used as examples have only been amplified. That is what the media is capable of doing with a story – it amplifies it. Storytelling in the media takes on the cumulative effects theory in the sense that the urge for you to consume what the media is presenting is built up to the point of consumption rather than occurring immediately. Just as well, it can shift your views, beliefs, judgments and even your character as easily as it gets you to consume a product.

Like the stories of Scheherazade, the media uses all five elements of story to make a successful impact on your beliefs.

Exposition: the introduction of the topic the media is presenting

Rising action: the media provides specific information to the audience to build tension, suspense, and intrigue

Climax: what the media truly wants you to know and approve

Falling action: what the next steps are for you to take

Resolution: taking those actions and resonating them

Extraordinary storytelling and utilization of the media to amplify it can make you a legend, a millionaire, an artist, and a leader of social change.

My question to you is would you rather watch and listen to Steve Jobs tell a story or a misinformed underpaid reporter? Your answer shows exactly how good storytelling in the media affects what media content you consume.

Doing What Matters And Doing What Doesn’t (so much)

The problem a lot of people run into when they are finally having a full-time schedule of productivity is that they are so busy doing things that really matter, that they feel unable to make time for the things that still matter, but matter less.

This is one of the biggest fallout’s for people who feel on a roll. Just because you reach a new level of success and productivity, doesn’t mean that you can say goodbye to previous engagements and expectations.

Take the hierarchy of needs for example … you can work your way up, but being on the third level doesn’t mean that you stop building the first and second.What does this mean to you?

It means that yes, you still have to do the grunt work. Every so often you have to pick up the broom and sweep yourself, you have to make those phone calls and send the emails just to keep up the contact with people who still matter, you have to provide input for others instead of receiving the input, you have to find yourself grunting now and then.

 

My suggestion: They say Sunday’s are for rest. I say that one day a week of grunt work is all that you will ever need to do. Get in the habit of it now so that it never stops you from reaching the heights you work so hard for.

 

Stay Positive & Steve Jobs Used To Grunt Everyday (no wonder he was so successful)

Garth E. Beyer

It also does well to note that the more you find yourself grunting (doing the grunt work), the greater understanding you have of how success and progression works. Obvious, but easily forgettable.