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Please, please puh-leeeese!!!  I NEED THIS JOB!

Adding value to someone’s life or business is attractive. 

Desperation is unseemly.

People work with people they know and people they like to be around. So, the challenge for any creative person is to switch the paradigm from “what do I need” to “what can I offer/give?”.

Sure. We have the tools to be able to constantly push messages and pitches out to the world. But, what value does it create? Will overwhelming people with what YOU need be of value to them? Will your barrage of sales pitches create the opportunity for meaningful relationships? Will incessant reminders of how “cool you really are” be perceived as adding value? Or, are you broadcasting how desperate you are?

Propagandists like to incite and overwhelm knowing full well that if a lie is repeated often enough that it will be believed by many to be the truth. But, is that an effective strategy for a creative professional?

Successful creative relationships are collaborations...

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The myth of the overnight sensation

“I give without expectation and am grateful for the result”.

 

When I was young I was driven. I felt like I was running a race against the clock (with my career). I was so stubborn that I figured if I worked hard and long enough I could force my dreams to come true. I was so determined to reach my goal that I wasn’t aware of the negative aspects of my behavior. 

In fact, instead of creating the life I had always dreamt of the opposite was true. Sure. I had some successes.  In reality my myopic field of vision was more limiting than liberating.  What was I missing?

It took me a long time to understand that my impatience was the result of my futile attempts to control my reality. Sometimes my impetuous nature worked for me. More times than not I would end up shooting myself in the foot in my pursuit of a mysterious, undefined goal. 

The concept of “overnight success” makes for great press but is only a portion of the story. What...

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Objective Comparison

January 18, 2021

Whenever I try to edit my writing as I go I invariably end up chasing my tail. I can go round and round trying to find the perfect solution to whatever problem I’m working on. I’m mean, really! You’d think I’d know better after all these years. This is especially problematic when I’m doing something new, something that is totally outside my comfort zone. My confidence takes a beating and I begin to wonder if my ideas are any good? Or, if I can pull off yet another rabbit trick. 

The words: frustration, self-doubt, insecurity, depression come to mind. If this has happened to you then know you aren’t alone. Believe me- this is a life-long struggle for every creative person I’ve ever known. We are all perfectionists to some extent so we won’t settle for second best. Perfectionism is a terrific motivator but, without a sense of balance and pragmatism perfectionism can quickly become your nemesis or outright...

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Reinventing Yourself: It's Not What You Think

January 15, 2021

When I look at my journey through life the path is anything but a straight line . If I were to draw a picture it would probably look like a sailboat tacking into the wind. Always a mountain to climb. Always more obstacles than smooth sailing. Always unforeseen challenges.

Sometimes I wonder how I’ve ended up moving through this unending, messy existence. That being said—when I’ve actually looked beneath the surface I’ve found that the skills I honed as a composer and arranger combined with the discipline of learning to play the piano well was the key.

Deep down we are all people on our own singular journey.

Sadly, when Americans are introduced to each other the default question is: “what do you do”. We are constantly defined by how we make a living. We are judged by the career path we have chosen. Professionals garner more prestige than service workers, teachers or laborers. This conditioned response is next to impossible to...

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Unlocking the myths of creative problem solving

 

We all know how to do it… but may have forgotten how

Matching shapes and colors seems simple right? But this is an extraordinarily complex task for a child. To be able to match the square peg with a square hole requires a leap of visual cognition. They have to identify what a square is and then match that shape with the square hole. No small task and requires trial and error to actually make it work. Like much of what we learn as children, adults tend to take this for granted. Somewhere along the way we lose sight of the value of being able to match our perceptions with reality (I tend to believe that the regimented routine and testing of traditional school is to blame but that’s another story). A creative individual who is actively engaged in abstract problem solving will unconsciously utilize these skills on a continuing basis. So, how do I improve my creative problem solving skills?

Identify every aspect of the problem

It stands to reason that if you...

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