True Productivity

IMG-2141

Stay curious. Ask yourself, “What would happen if I dipped the whole side of the brush, for example…”

Flora Bowley, artist

While experimenting with my own brushes and hearing her words, I thought of how critical it is to stay curious in life. It’s so easy (and debilitating) to allow things and people to get “old” on you.

We complain that we’re bored, but maybe WE have become boring.

Stay curious.

Ask yourself, “What if…” (and act on that question!) at least once a day.

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Cow

 

IMG-2132 (1)

“The hard part isn’t charging more. It’s delivering more than the person paid for.”

Seth Godin

He published Purple Cow in 2003 and his message, “Be remarkable to cut through the noise” rings truer than ever. Snake oil and social media are ubiquitous. There’s too much information, noise, and duplicity out there. You can stand out by providing outstanding value.

 

 

Podcasts and Promises

IMG-1978
Daily Painting Challenge: Day 9

I just finished listening to a Rich Roll podcast. His guest was Jesse Itzler who wrote a best selling book about Living with a (Navy) SEAL. Itzler is also married to Sara Blakely who founded Spanx.

Pursuing outrageous physical feats is not my bag. However, I like to keep learning about motivation and what might help others (as well as me) get/stay motivated to constantly improve (work, relationships).

 The biggest takeaway from this podcast for me was to “circle a date in the future” for a goal I have in mind and then to tell everyone about it to hold myself accountable. As soon as I published “Esther, Mia and the Stars,*” I wanted to write my next book. But I haven’t. So here it is: by December 13th, 2018, I will write (and illustrate!) book #2. 

What have you put on the backburner? Share it now (here or elsewhere), and get going!

 

 

 

*Yes, it says “Mia, Esther and the Stars” on Amazon. But it’s the right book.  ;P

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create, Don’t Criticize*

IMG-1701
Rose Doodle

*Theodore Roosevelt

“Do you create anything or just criticize others and belittle their motivations?”

Steve Jobs

You might not admire Steve Jobs as a person or even as an entrepreneur, but there is truth in this quote, as Kovie Biakolo points out.

Social media is a tool of communication. As with any form of communication, it can be utilized for productivity and education or noise pollution.

I’d like to add: it can also be used purely for consumption – for hours on end.

Something worth considering: What is your consumption/criticizing to creation/production ratio?

Maybe it’s time to praise and produce more, and criticize and consume less?

Podcast for Artists and Consultants

Screenshot 2018-05-08 at 5.45.16 AM

I’ve been following Seth Godin’s work for many years. He just gets better and better. This podcast episode got me jazzed. If you’re considering freelancing or being an entrepreneur (or if you believe they are synonyms(!)) this podcast is for you:

“Freelancers”

Here are notes from the podcast:

First of all, entrepreneurs are people who start companies, make money while they sleep and employ people. Freelancers actually create the work and usually work alone (might shop out aspects of their work, but mostly do it themselves). When he said this, I realized I am definitely not an entrepreneur! But being a freelancer resonated with me when it comes to my personality and goals.

Choose an industry that is glad to see you arrive.

Possess hard-earned skills.  You can charge a lot, but deliver more than what people pay for. 

Focus on the smallest viable audience – not a large one [This is the opposite of what so many failed businesses do!]. As a freelancer, you can only handle so much. This small group of people (your customers) will talk about you and wait in line for you.

Commit to the discipline of prospecting – you need to do your work and spend time getting work (building your business). Dedicate some time every day to honing your skills, finding new tools, spreading the word, earning the privilege of working for others (NOT networking parties).

Godin uses an example: He knows a photographer who shoots in a specific location at specific times and only those for clients. She

What gets you picked is you being in the Category of One. No one can substitute you. Get beyond being One of Many. Do quirky, unique, exceptional work – work that sounds like you, looks like you….the work that most people do not like. (Are you trying too hard to be liked by everyone?)

Put the Day Up for Review*

IMG-1585
“30 Things to Paint with August Wren”

From Ryan Holiday’s blog “13 Habits to Try to do Every Day”

#11:  [*] Put The Day Up For Review — We prepared in the morning, now we reflect in the evening. The best way to improve is to review. So, each evening you should, like Seneca did, examine your day and your actions.

The question should be: Did I follow my plans for the day? Was I prepared enough? What could I do better? What have I learned that will help me tomorrow?

 

I write make a list of tasks (aligned with my goal(s)) on an index card daily. A quick way to review is to check my list. Did I get them all done? And then reflect on how I spent my time. I’ve definitely been checking news too much. Red4Ed affects me directly, so I check to see Ducey’s reaction. But then I fall down the rabbit hole and read irrelevant “news.” Reflecting this way helps me get back on track the next day.