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The Sistine Chapel, it is not

It can be easy to fall into the trap of being overly precious about our ideas. I can’t tell you how many friends or clients I’ve spoken to or worked with who have hesitated to hit the launch button on a project because of a minute detail.

The tendency is to protect our idea before it sets foot in the big bad world.

When I look back at how we executed our first few Shared Walls™ exhibitions at IPaintMyMind, it’s hilarious. No systems, all passion, high cost, and tiny margins.

Now we have procedures, guides, systems, supplies, and support tools that help ensure we do the best job possible when hanging art for our partners.

Thinking back to Brian and I spray painting frames in his alley that we bought at a hotel liquidator feels like recalling an episode of I Love Lucy that I had somehow been cast in.

I realize now how great it was that we just went for it. If we had waited for perfect circumstances, we wouldn’t have made real progress. It was all about trying the idea and seeing what parts of it worked and which parts of it didn’t.

Launching is the first real test, not the end-product. For us, everything since then has been a process of iteration & there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

One thing I know for sure… the Sistine Chapel, it is not.

No matter what IT is.

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Friendtor (new word alert)

Friendtor (frend-tor) noun.

1. Someone who is both your friend and your mentor, this relationship can be reciprocal or unidirectional, but has the most potency when shared in both directions. When I spoke to my friendtor, we shared some awesome ideas & both learned a lot.

2. A relationship between people in which there is true equanimity and both people teach each other. The emphasis is on a free exchange of ideas where based on the subject, the teacher and the student shifts. The value of having a friendtor is immeasurable, I’m so lucky to have them in my life.

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Kids know a lot

Yesterday I participated in my high school‘s Career Fair as an alumn who was now an “Entrepreneur.” Instead of talking at them about what I thought entrepreneurship was, I started by asking them why they were interested in knowing what being an entrepreneur meant.

Answers ranged from wanting to create their own schedules, to being their own boss, or having some experience of a family business. Freedom, both creative & social, was central to their curiosity.

I joked that some days I feel unemployed, but I also reminded them not to worry too much about what they think they want to be or do now, but to collect info by testing things out. Finding the intersection of interest & value definitely came up a few times.

It made me think about the level of digital normality that existed when I was in high school versus what these kids have to work with. Instant publishing, social media, and digital tools a keystroke away.

The fact remains, there is no currency like being current. There is a potency in having it all out in front of you.

Today I was reminded…

The kids know a lot and I’ve got to be the one asking them the questions.


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Thank you is free

Thank you is free.

It also feels good, makes others feel good, and tends to create more chances for you to say it again.


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Collective bargaining

Last weekend, Liverpool fans walked out of the fabled Anfield Stadium in northern England in the 77th minute of the match against Sunderland to protest the announced rise in ticket prices to 77 British pounds.

En masse, over 10,0000 fans walked out to show their displeasure at ownership’s approach to the economic future of the club.

As a fan of soccer and of sport in general, one of the obvious critiques is that we follow blindly. We rationalize any method that keeps the team profitable (public financing of stadiums, trading players that could help the team win for cash, higher ticket prices), and often times act as if we have no other option.

But we do.

As fans, as customers, as citizens, we vote with our wallets more than we vote at the ballot box. When Liverpool fans walked out of Anfield to protest ticket prices that keep the common fan on the outside looking in, they came together and showed their collective power.

Fenway Sports Group, the Boston-based (Red Sox owning) group that owns Liverpool Football Club subsequently announced a two-year freeze on ticket prices.

I guess we really can demand more from our businesses, leaders, & government…

But I think we’re going to have to do it together.


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If time eludes you, watch this

If time eludes you, watch this

In looking for tools that might help take distractions off my plate, I came across this article & video, and thought you might get something out of it.

So many people talk about how busy they are, not having enough time, feeling spread thin, scattered, or being generally overwhelmed by how much they need to get done in a single day.

Unfortunately, the way we work collaboratively, allows for tons of interruptions in our creative work. As a result, I’m on the hunt for some strategies or tools that we all might get something out of. It’s an extension of operation ‘time recovery’, which is making me think more and more about distraction, potency, and creativity.

It was interesting to watch this video, because it mentions carving out half-days or even full days for projects, a strategy I’ve been honing in on as of late.

I’d be curious as to what your reaction is to this, and I’ll get back to you once I find some things that can help us declutter, avoid our ADD, and find chunks of time to create the things we so desperately want to see come to life.

In addition to this video below, you can read up on one Google employees take on managing your time. It’s a good one.

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‘Everybody else’ (an energetic source)

‘Everybody else’ (an energetic source)

Sometimes it can be easy to think that it’s about us… but it shouldn’t be.

‘Everybody else’ are powerful.

When we look around, it’s clear that a lot of people doing bold things. Challenging norms, rethinking constructs, building systems, developing relationships, solving problems, organizing communities, offering value, connecting people, and together, building the reality of tomorrow.

Whether it’s Levi developing his own card games & communities, Jonathan speaking to thousands of people weekly via his podcast, Sam making great beer, James doing every creative thing under the sun, Dustin launching a new business, Brian traveling the world doing incredible qualitative research, Chad & Leonard following their culinary dreams, Molly making art into her career, Lindsey making malas, Katherine putting container architecture to great use, Jeremy angling on strategy around sustainable reuse of cell phones, Aaron managing water treatment at a vineyard owned by a man named Coppola, Saya rethinking community building, or KC launching a new career through meditation & speaking

‘Everybody else’ are an energetic source.

Here’s to finding the everybody else’s that make us feel like what we want to do is possible too.

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Dad wisdom

Dad wisdom

I just published an article on entitled, 13 Dads Offer Wisdom On Raising Tiny Humans.

The reason that was an article I wanted to write, was because I’ll be a dad this May. As a grown-up kid, it’s been funny, amazing, and humbling to think about myself as a father.

While those thoughts sloshed around, I had the idea to ask some dad’s I admire for a bit of perspective… so that’s what I did.

A sincere THANK YOU to the dudes for their time & thoughtfulness.

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