getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

relationships and infinite games

In building a business, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

I really can’t overstate the value of relationships. Relationships really make the world go ’round, and they are also (in my opinion) the most fulfilling part of life. I’m blown away by the volume of Linkedin messages and emails I get on a daily basis that jump from zero (I don’t even know this person) to 100 (want to hire …

your apples to their oranges

In building a business, creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

There isn’t much that’s more exciting than a new idea. You have that initial excitement of, “Oh wow, this could really work!” But then you start doing research into other people who are doing similar work. First, you find maybe one or two people “but they aren’t doing it this way, so I’m still fine.” Then as you dig deeper, …

holding space

In building a business, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

When I started in undergrad at Ohio State, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (does any 19 year old?) so I joined their Undecided program, which they call “Exploration.” I remember having a discussion with my Exploration Advisor (shout out to Stephanie) who told me, “Exploration isn’t a magic bean. Being in this program …

are you overvaluing cash?

In building a business, learning by Jay Clouse

One of the biggest traps I fall into as both a solopreneur and operator is hoarding my cash like a squirrel saving its nuts for winter. When I’m worried about cash flow, it’s easy to get into a scarcity mindset and do everything I can to protect what I have. And that usually comes with trying to do everything myself …

introducing work in progress

In building a business, creativity, learning, personal brand by Jay Clouse

Earlier this year, I wrote about reducing entropy — a concept from physics that relates to the disorder in a system. Over the last week or so, I was reminded of the presence of entropy, both through conversation with some friends of mine, and watching my external world (my system) trend towards relative disorder. So I’ve been fighting back over the last …

exhausting your options

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, learning, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

In February I had the chance to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, TropicalMBA. It was their first shot at a new format, a “consulting” episode where they listen to a business owner talk about their challenges and make some recommendations. I talked about the challenges of running a cyclical, pseudo-service-based business — things like cash flow, …

a good sign

In building a business, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

When you’re trying to answer new questions, that’s a good sign. When you’re dealing with new problems, that’s a good sign. Growth happens when you’re spending your time doing things at the edge of your abilities. Answering new questions and solving new problems are a good sign that you’re working at the edge of your ability. But that doesn’t make …

creating a volume of work

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

As long-time readers of this newsletter will know, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Mostly long-form interviews with comedians and other people known for being “successful” in art or business. You’ve probably heard of the Tim Ferriss podcast (or human), but he rarely tells his own story. Very rarely, he’ll be interviewed on his own podcast by a guest, …

See All building a business Posts

is the narrative serving you?

In creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

I was feeling a little aggressive. A couple months ago as I was looking forward to October, I decided that I wanted to take on writing two Linkedin Learning courses concurrently to close out the year. If I did that, it’s obviously twice as beneficial financially, and since I wouldn’t start a new cohort of the Unreal Collective Accelerator until January, …

getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

making assertions

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

I am a big fan of the new Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s provocative of a conversation. It asserts itself and forces you to reckon with whether you are with Nike, with Colin Kaepernick, or not. And it’s that forcing mechanism — making you first acknowledge that there are differing viewpoints …

your apples to their oranges

In building a business, creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

There isn’t much that’s more exciting than a new idea. You have that initial excitement of, “Oh wow, this could really work!” But then you start doing research into other people who are doing similar work. First, you find maybe one or two people “but they aren’t doing it this way, so I’m still fine.” Then as you dig deeper, …

Robin Williams performed Shakespeare

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

A couple weeks ago, I went on a real Robin Williams biographical binge. I listened to podcasts before and after his death, watched interviews on YouTube, and watched the new HBO Documentary Come Inside My Mind. It was all fascinating to me — I think I’ve written about my interest in comedy and entertainment enough I don’t need to dive …

thinking originally

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

I love to consume. Love it. I consume movies, podcasts, music, TV, whatever “goods” are — I consume it all. There’s a magical feeling from consuming — the endorphins of having something new (in the case of a product), the smugness of having new talking points for something I know will come up in conversation later, the articulation of experiences …

flipping a new lie

In creativity, deep thoughts, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

Right before I took my summer writing break (which I just cut short), I shared some information about why I started writing in the first place. In the words of my coach and mentor, Chris, I needed to “flip the lie” I was telling myself — and specifically, I was telling myself that I wasn’t an artist or able to …

rules — real or imaginary?

In creativity, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

A few months ago, I signed up for Level 1 improv classes because I thought I’d be good at them. Then, just a couple weeks ago, I signed up for Level 2 improv classes because I realized I was not. But I’m really enjoying the process of it, for a lot of reasons. For one, it’s fun to fail hard …

introducing work in progress

In building a business, creativity, learning, personal brand by Jay Clouse

Earlier this year, I wrote about reducing entropy — a concept from physics that relates to the disorder in a system. Over the last week or so, I was reminded of the presence of entropy, both through conversation with some friends of mine, and watching my external world (my system) trend towards relative disorder. So I’ve been fighting back over the last …

exhausting your options

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, learning, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

In February I had the chance to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, TropicalMBA. It was their first shot at a new format, a “consulting” episode where they listen to a business owner talk about their challenges and make some recommendations. I talked about the challenges of running a cyclical, pseudo-service-based business — things like cash flow, …

See All creativity Posts

the hidden risk of taking advice

In deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

Make no mistake, one of the most important factors in my life has been mentorship. But there’s a surreptitious risk to mentorship — and it’s when “advice” isn’t really advice. Sometimes, “advice” is really a veil over self-validation. Instead of giving thoughtful, calculated, and unbiased recommendations based upon personal experience, sometimes people will simply give prescriptive “advice” that you follow …

getting to the edges pt. 2

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, motivation by Jay Clouse

Yesterday I wrote about getting to the edges of a space in order to create new and original thought (therefore being a leader in defining the next edge). That sounds simple enough — but it’s certainly not easy. It’s a time-consuming and intense challenge to stay at the edge while also trying to lead others at the edge. It’s easiest …

getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

making assertions

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

I am a big fan of the new Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s provocative of a conversation. It asserts itself and forces you to reckon with whether you are with Nike, with Colin Kaepernick, or not. And it’s that forcing mechanism — making you first acknowledge that there are differing viewpoints …

holding space

In building a business, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

When I started in undergrad at Ohio State, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (does any 19 year old?) so I joined their Undecided program, which they call “Exploration.” I remember having a discussion with my Exploration Advisor (shout out to Stephanie) who told me, “Exploration isn’t a magic bean. Being in this program …

Robin Williams performed Shakespeare

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

A couple weeks ago, I went on a real Robin Williams biographical binge. I listened to podcasts before and after his death, watched interviews on YouTube, and watched the new HBO Documentary Come Inside My Mind. It was all fascinating to me — I think I’ve written about my interest in comedy and entertainment enough I don’t need to dive …

the stories we tell ourselves

In deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

For a while (until it wore off) I had an address label on my wallet that I had written on it, “why are you buying this?” When I was at a restaurant or store, I saw several people look at it and laugh. Sure, it did serve a small purpose to make me think about whether or not I should be …

thinking originally

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

I love to consume. Love it. I consume movies, podcasts, music, TV, whatever “goods” are — I consume it all. There’s a magical feeling from consuming — the endorphins of having something new (in the case of a product), the smugness of having new talking points for something I know will come up in conversation later, the articulation of experiences …

flipping a new lie

In creativity, deep thoughts, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

Right before I took my summer writing break (which I just cut short), I shared some information about why I started writing in the first place. In the words of my coach and mentor, Chris, I needed to “flip the lie” I was telling myself — and specifically, I was telling myself that I wasn’t an artist or able to …

those that do, can’t teach (themselves)

In deep thoughts, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

You’ve probably heard the (absolutely wrong, insulting, offensive!) adage, “Those that can’t do, teach.” As the product of teachers, the brother to teachers, cousin to teachers, and finding myself “teaching” a lot myself now with Lynda/Linkedin Learning and my work, I generally disagree with this. But something I see frequently is a strange phenomenon with people who do and help …

See All deep thoughts Posts

one question for decision making

In inspiration, learning by Jay Clouse

A lot of people come to me for advice on making decisions, and I’m happy to share my perspective or give a hot take whenever I can be helpful. Lately, I’ve been using a new approach to making decisions myself, and sharing that with others too. It’s just one question: “What will you wish you would have done a year …

is the narrative serving you?

In creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

I was feeling a little aggressive. A couple months ago as I was looking forward to October, I decided that I wanted to take on writing two Linkedin Learning courses concurrently to close out the year. If I did that, it’s obviously twice as beneficial financially, and since I wouldn’t start a new cohort of the Unreal Collective Accelerator until January, …

going first

In inspiration, leadership, motivation, relationships by Jay Clouse

I’m really lucky to be in Columbus, Ohio. Having been in one major city for the past nearly 10 years, I’ve been able to dig deeply into different communities here, and create a good name for myself in a handful of circles. Because I pushed myself to “network” and volunteer in the community several years ago, it’s actually not very …

the hidden risk of taking advice

In deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

Make no mistake, one of the most important factors in my life has been mentorship. But there’s a surreptitious risk to mentorship — and it’s when “advice” isn’t really advice. Sometimes, “advice” is really a veil over self-validation. Instead of giving thoughtful, calculated, and unbiased recommendations based upon personal experience, sometimes people will simply give prescriptive “advice” that you follow …

getting to the edges pt. 2

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, motivation by Jay Clouse

Yesterday I wrote about getting to the edges of a space in order to create new and original thought (therefore being a leader in defining the next edge). That sounds simple enough — but it’s certainly not easy. It’s a time-consuming and intense challenge to stay at the edge while also trying to lead others at the edge. It’s easiest …

getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

making assertions

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

I am a big fan of the new Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s provocative of a conversation. It asserts itself and forces you to reckon with whether you are with Nike, with Colin Kaepernick, or not. And it’s that forcing mechanism — making you first acknowledge that there are differing viewpoints …

living like a tracker

In inspiration, learning, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

One of the podcasts I’ve gotten into lately at the recommendation of my upside cohost, Eric, is Invest Like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. What I like about this podcast is that besides speaking with obviously great investors, the individuals he interviews have very interesting perspectives on life outside of investing. Recently, he re-ran an episode with Boyd Varty, a …

relationships and infinite games follow up

In inspiration, leadership, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

I got a lot of great feedback on yesterday’s piece related to relationships and finite/infinite games. A little bit of inside baseball, I realized the terms “finite” and “infinite” games may be new to some folks. I borrowed the phrase from a book by James Carse called, Finite and Infinite Games. The phrases are defined on the cover of the …

your apples to their oranges

In building a business, creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

There isn’t much that’s more exciting than a new idea. You have that initial excitement of, “Oh wow, this could really work!” But then you start doing research into other people who are doing similar work. First, you find maybe one or two people “but they aren’t doing it this way, so I’m still fine.” Then as you dig deeper, …

See All inspiration Posts

behind the scenes: interview with TropicalMBA

In building a business, interview, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

As I’ve shared before, I’m a huge believer in access (to people, places, things) being easier than we often think. (Here’s an older piece on that). But generally, I think we put things on a pedestal and negative self-talk our way into not making an effort towards obtaining things we want all the time. You may have noticed that in …

See All interview Posts

going first

In inspiration, leadership, motivation, relationships by Jay Clouse

I’m really lucky to be in Columbus, Ohio. Having been in one major city for the past nearly 10 years, I’ve been able to dig deeply into different communities here, and create a good name for myself in a handful of circles. Because I pushed myself to “network” and volunteer in the community several years ago, it’s actually not very …

getting to the edges pt. 2

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, motivation by Jay Clouse

Yesterday I wrote about getting to the edges of a space in order to create new and original thought (therefore being a leader in defining the next edge). That sounds simple enough — but it’s certainly not easy. It’s a time-consuming and intense challenge to stay at the edge while also trying to lead others at the edge. It’s easiest …

getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

relationships and infinite games follow up

In inspiration, leadership, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

I got a lot of great feedback on yesterday’s piece related to relationships and finite/infinite games. A little bit of inside baseball, I realized the terms “finite” and “infinite” games may be new to some folks. I borrowed the phrase from a book by James Carse called, Finite and Infinite Games. The phrases are defined on the cover of the …

social contracts

In leadership, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

Last week I was in Calgary (Alberta, Canada) speaking at an event called INVENTURE$ by Alberta Innovates. The conference brought together government, entrepreneurs, investors, and big corporate with the goal of new economic development in Alberta, which is historically an oil and gas province. During my short visit to Calgary, I had the opportunity to meet with some amazing people …

exercising agency and influence

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

Learning to be a leader is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do. Besides high school sports, my first leadership position was running a college newspaper organization, and I ran it into the ground. It no longer exists. Later on in college, I more successfully ran the OSU entrepreneurship organization, where I learned the important of succession planning. …

get the ball out of your court

In leadership, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

For a product manager (and remember, we are all product managers) it is your job to achieve the most efficient process for a team to work together towards a common goal. It’s up to you to understand the timelines/deadline for completion and do everything within your power to hit those timelines. What I very quickly learned is that if I …

call and response

In leadership, relationships by Jay Clouse

For several years, I’ve helped put some small dinner meetups together. We usually have 10-20 entrepreneurs, artists, and investors in the room with the promise of good group discussion. We start the discussion with introductions. But the veterans know that the whole point is the introductions. Talking about what everyone is involved in organically spins into fascinating conversation, and then …

See All leadership Posts

one question for decision making

In inspiration, learning by Jay Clouse

A lot of people come to me for advice on making decisions, and I’m happy to share my perspective or give a hot take whenever I can be helpful. Lately, I’ve been using a new approach to making decisions myself, and sharing that with others too. It’s just one question: “What will you wish you would have done a year …

the hidden risk of taking advice

In deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

Make no mistake, one of the most important factors in my life has been mentorship. But there’s a surreptitious risk to mentorship — and it’s when “advice” isn’t really advice. Sometimes, “advice” is really a veil over self-validation. Instead of giving thoughtful, calculated, and unbiased recommendations based upon personal experience, sometimes people will simply give prescriptive “advice” that you follow …

getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

making assertions

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

I am a big fan of the new Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s provocative of a conversation. It asserts itself and forces you to reckon with whether you are with Nike, with Colin Kaepernick, or not. And it’s that forcing mechanism — making you first acknowledge that there are differing viewpoints …

living like a tracker

In inspiration, learning, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

One of the podcasts I’ve gotten into lately at the recommendation of my upside cohost, Eric, is Invest Like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. What I like about this podcast is that besides speaking with obviously great investors, the individuals he interviews have very interesting perspectives on life outside of investing. Recently, he re-ran an episode with Boyd Varty, a …

relationships and infinite games follow up

In inspiration, leadership, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

I got a lot of great feedback on yesterday’s piece related to relationships and finite/infinite games. A little bit of inside baseball, I realized the terms “finite” and “infinite” games may be new to some folks. I borrowed the phrase from a book by James Carse called, Finite and Infinite Games. The phrases are defined on the cover of the …

holding space

In building a business, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

When I started in undergrad at Ohio State, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (does any 19 year old?) so I joined their Undecided program, which they call “Exploration.” I remember having a discussion with my Exploration Advisor (shout out to Stephanie) who told me, “Exploration isn’t a magic bean. Being in this program …

protecting myself from myself

In inspiration, learning, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

You probably know what it’s like to feel like you’re seeing opportunity all the time. Maybe it’s your own idea, or someone else bringing you an opportunity, but it seems like when we’re open to it, opportunity is surrounding us. But every time we say yes to an opportunity, we’re implicitly saying no to another. So if you’re like me, …

are you overvaluing cash?

In building a business, learning by Jay Clouse

One of the biggest traps I fall into as both a solopreneur and operator is hoarding my cash like a squirrel saving its nuts for winter. When I’m worried about cash flow, it’s easy to get into a scarcity mindset and do everything I can to protect what I have. And that usually comes with trying to do everything myself …

good writing is made in the edit

In inspiration, learning, productivity by Jay Clouse

The more that I write, whether for this newsletter, my Linkedin Learning courses, or otherwise, the more I am reminded that good work is made during the editing phase. The problem is that getting started is the hardest, most daunting part. It’s the part that takes me the longest to do — actually start word vomiting onto a page. But …

See All learning Posts

line of sight

In creativity, marketing, personal brand by Jay Clouse

When I think about marketing (whether it’s Unreal, upside, or myself) I think a lot about awareness. The idea I wrote about a couple weeks ago — do you even exist to the person you want to the attention of? When we become aware of something, we start to slowly make the (erroneous) assumption that other people are aware of …

do you even exist?

In inspiration, marketing, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

Over the last couple of months, my messaging and inbox traffic has exploded. It’s still manageable; I’m an inbox zero person and have curated my “Primary” tab in Gmail to be very effective in filtering out the stuff I actually need to see/action. And some of it is still garbage, but it’s probably 5-10x busier than it was a few …

simplicity is not simple

In building a business, learning, marketing by Jay Clouse

As I study more about marketing, persuasion, and communication, it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that simplicity wins out. The more simple you can make something, the easier it is to understand, talk about, remember, refer, and generally attract others. Great — so make everything simple! That should be simple, right? Not quite. Simplicity requires focus and clarity.  Simplicity …

See All marketing Posts

awesome media from January 2018

In media by Jay Clouse

Due to my December/holiday writing break, I haven’t shared the general link fest for a couple months. As a result, this is a heavy one! One trend I’m noticing is that I’m finding more and more value in stories from the New York Times. I don’t know if that’s due to better content, a changing of my own tastes, or …

awesome media from November

In media by Jay Clouse

November was an interesting month. It was my first month completely devoid of Unreal Collective group calls, and it took a while to get into the new groove. But after relaunching the website, building out the marketing plan for the next membership opportunities, and working with a few more coaching and marketing clients, I’m ready for December. I also didn’t …

awesome media from October

In media by Jay Clouse

Videos Advanced facial recognition using Unreal Engine (4 minutes) The Academic – music video by Bear Claws done using Facebook Live Loop (6 minutes) Man Gives His Cat 11,453 Stern Looks (47 minutes) EYES (1.5 minutes) Conan O’Brien Discusses ‘We’re Going to be Friends’ by the White Stripes (3 minutes) Progressive Growing of GANs for Improved Quality, Stability, and Variation …

awesome media from September

In media by Jay Clouse

Another month in the books! Hard to believe how quickly September passed by. October is the final month for members in the current 12-week program of Unreal Collective, and I’m preparing for the next program to kick off in January of 2018. I’m extremely excited about and pleased with the progress of the 16 folks I’m working with right now. …

awesome media from August

In media by Jay Clouse

August was a bit of a slow month for me in terms of finding awesome stuff to share with you. I’m not sure what to attribute that to – maybe my traveling made consumption less of a priority. I’m not sure. That said, I figured it’s better off sharing fewer items than sharing less badass stuff. Enjoy the few things …

awesome media from July

In media by Jay Clouse

Technically, I should’ve shared these recommendations yesterday. But technically, I can also do whatever I want!* As always, these are the coolest pieces of content (audio, video, articles, books) that I discovered or rediscovered in July. It’s incredibly subjective to my taste, so I’d love to hear which of these resonate with you personally. Talk to you tomorrow! Cheers, Jay …

Unreal recommendations | July 2017

In media by Jay Clouse

It’s hard to believe another month has passed already. I’ve been in full-court press mode getting things ready for our next Unreal Collective micro-communities, so I consumed less media this month. But here are 10 pieces of media I really enjoyed and had a positive impact on my perspective. Check out the ones that sound interesting at your own pace. …

Unreal Recommendations / June 2017

In media by Jay Clouse

Videos DO WHAT YOU CAN’T (4 min) Casey Neistat…hype! Offf Barcelona (3 min) Eye + ear candy John Cleese on creativity (36 min) Amazing advice for creative work from 1991 Saintseneca – “Book Of The Dead On Sale” (2 min) Great song, fun video done with fish eye lens (Columbus natives!) Makin’ Moves (2.5 min) Eye candy Explaining My Depression To …

Unreal Recommendations from April

In media by Jay Clouse

To start the month, I wanted to share some of my favorite media I found in the month of April. There are quite a few links. I’d love to hear what resonates most with you! Watch it What does a pianist see? Eye tracking technology (4 min) Aaron Draplin takes on a logo design challenge (16 min) Heineken worlds apart ad (5 min) …

unreal recommendations from March

In media by Jay Clouse

To start the month, I wanted to share some of my favorite media I found in the month of March. It falls into a few broad categories that I’ve outlined below, and there are quite a few links. I’d love to hear what resonates with you. Watch it Ten Meter Tower People are asked to jump for the first time from …

See All media Posts

is the narrative serving you?

In creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

I was feeling a little aggressive. A couple months ago as I was looking forward to October, I decided that I wanted to take on writing two Linkedin Learning courses concurrently to close out the year. If I did that, it’s obviously twice as beneficial financially, and since I wouldn’t start a new cohort of the Unreal Collective Accelerator until January, …

going first

In inspiration, leadership, motivation, relationships by Jay Clouse

I’m really lucky to be in Columbus, Ohio. Having been in one major city for the past nearly 10 years, I’ve been able to dig deeply into different communities here, and create a good name for myself in a handful of circles. Because I pushed myself to “network” and volunteer in the community several years ago, it’s actually not very …

getting to the edges pt. 2

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, motivation by Jay Clouse

Yesterday I wrote about getting to the edges of a space in order to create new and original thought (therefore being a leader in defining the next edge). That sounds simple enough — but it’s certainly not easy. It’s a time-consuming and intense challenge to stay at the edge while also trying to lead others at the edge. It’s easiest …

getting to the edges

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’ve been on a kick about forming original thought. And it continued yesterday during an Unreal Collective group call when we discussed the merits and challenges of creating unique or proprietary language! As I think about writing more and making my own assertions, frameworks, and methods, I find myself having the most …

making assertions

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

I am a big fan of the new Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s provocative of a conversation. It asserts itself and forces you to reckon with whether you are with Nike, with Colin Kaepernick, or not. And it’s that forcing mechanism — making you first acknowledge that there are differing viewpoints …

living like a tracker

In inspiration, learning, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

One of the podcasts I’ve gotten into lately at the recommendation of my upside cohost, Eric, is Invest Like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. What I like about this podcast is that besides speaking with obviously great investors, the individuals he interviews have very interesting perspectives on life outside of investing. Recently, he re-ran an episode with Boyd Varty, a …

your apples to their oranges

In building a business, creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

There isn’t much that’s more exciting than a new idea. You have that initial excitement of, “Oh wow, this could really work!” But then you start doing research into other people who are doing similar work. First, you find maybe one or two people “but they aren’t doing it this way, so I’m still fine.” Then as you dig deeper, …

holding space

In building a business, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

When I started in undergrad at Ohio State, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (does any 19 year old?) so I joined their Undecided program, which they call “Exploration.” I remember having a discussion with my Exploration Advisor (shout out to Stephanie) who told me, “Exploration isn’t a magic bean. Being in this program …

what do you mean you can’t?

In motivation, relationships by Jay Clouse

I take issue with the phrase, “I can’t.” There are a few different meanings behind the phrase, “I can’t:” I am (truly) physically/mentally/emotionally unable I believe I am physically/mentally/emotionally unable I have a conflict and I refuse to prioritize this I have no conflict I just don’t want to In the case of meaning #1, the phrase “I can’t” is acceptable. …

Robin Williams performed Shakespeare

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

A couple weeks ago, I went on a real Robin Williams biographical binge. I listened to podcasts before and after his death, watched interviews on YouTube, and watched the new HBO Documentary Come Inside My Mind. It was all fascinating to me — I think I’ve written about my interest in comedy and entertainment enough I don’t need to dive …

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making assertions

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

I am a big fan of the new Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s provocative of a conversation. It asserts itself and forces you to reckon with whether you are with Nike, with Colin Kaepernick, or not. And it’s that forcing mechanism — making you first acknowledge that there are differing viewpoints …

introducing work in progress

In building a business, creativity, learning, personal brand by Jay Clouse

Earlier this year, I wrote about reducing entropy — a concept from physics that relates to the disorder in a system. Over the last week or so, I was reminded of the presence of entropy, both through conversation with some friends of mine, and watching my external world (my system) trend towards relative disorder. So I’ve been fighting back over the last …

line of sight

In creativity, marketing, personal brand by Jay Clouse

When I think about marketing (whether it’s Unreal, upside, or myself) I think a lot about awareness. The idea I wrote about a couple weeks ago — do you even exist to the person you want to the attention of? When we become aware of something, we start to slowly make the (erroneous) assumption that other people are aware of …

creating a volume of work

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

As long-time readers of this newsletter will know, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Mostly long-form interviews with comedians and other people known for being “successful” in art or business. You’ve probably heard of the Tim Ferriss podcast (or human), but he rarely tells his own story. Very rarely, he’ll be interviewed on his own podcast by a guest, …

do you even exist?

In inspiration, marketing, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

Over the last couple of months, my messaging and inbox traffic has exploded. It’s still manageable; I’m an inbox zero person and have curated my “Primary” tab in Gmail to be very effective in filtering out the stuff I actually need to see/action. And some of it is still garbage, but it’s probably 5-10x busier than it was a few …

I’m not busy

In deep thoughts, personal brand, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

At any given time, there’s something I’m trying to either weed out of my behavior/mannerisms, or something I’m trying to incorporate. Right now, I’m focused on how I respond to the question, “How have you been?” or “What have you been up to?” I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said, “Good! Really busy.” Or something similar. Not only …

de-risking yourself as a reputational risk

In personal brand, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

Over the last year or two, I’ve become aware of the fact that I generally don’t have much difficulty getting in touch with someone I want to talk to. I’ve written about access being easier than you think and how I got onto one of my favorite podcasts just by asking. But I’m realizing it’s not as easy as just asking, …

people don’t really care about what you’re doing

In building a business, creativity, inspiration, motivation, personal brand, sales by Jay Clouse

…and that should be a totally liberating reality. Yesterday I wrote about developing a thick skin being essential to being an entrepreneur or creative professional. That only happens by creating “friction” by putting yourself out there. And, yes, some self-promotion. Self-promotion is a polarizing idea — some people really demonize the idea of self-promotion. And I think it comes from a …

someone else’s time

In personal brand, relationships by Jay Clouse

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it — our most scarce and precious resource is our time. That’s true for me, you, everyone. So the most effective way to garner some of someone else’s time is to truly show respect for it. If there’s one aspect of my brand I am most protective and obsessive over, it’s …

collisions

In learning, personal brand, relationships by Jay Clouse

Back in 2014, I had the opportunity to attend my first Global Summit as an organizer of Startup Weekend. This was before the organization was purchased by Techstars, and there were hundreds (if not thousands) of volunteer organizers in over a hundred cities globally. Once a year, the mothership would invite organizers from their home cities to come together for …

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planning for the “happy path”

In deep thoughts, learning, product management by Jay Clouse

In product development, you often build a solution with a specific process and set of steps in mind. The user does X, Y, and Z, and that leads to outcome A. When that process is followed as expected and nothing goes wrong, it’s called the “happy path.” Usually, the team plans for the happy path first. But the more complex …

pacing

In deep thoughts, motivation, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

I can’t stop thinking about this article talking about LeBron resting during games. If you don’t follow the NBA, all you really need to know is that LeBron plays more minutes on the court than just about anyone else. During the Cavs playoff run, he was spending almost zero time on the bench. How did he do it? James has …

I’m not busy

In deep thoughts, personal brand, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

At any given time, there’s something I’m trying to either weed out of my behavior/mannerisms, or something I’m trying to incorporate. Right now, I’m focused on how I respond to the question, “How have you been?” or “What have you been up to?” I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said, “Good! Really busy.” Or something similar. Not only …

opportunity cost is too painless

In deep thoughts, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

If task or project management was Dungeons and Dragons, I would be a Grand Master. Right now, I’ve said “yes” to more things than I should have. I’m overcommitted, stretched thin, and really feeling the consequences. Being a Grand Master project manager, everything is moving forward. I haven’t dropped any balls, and seemingly everything is still going smoothly. But the …

important but not urgent

In building a business, inspiration, motivation, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

The first time I understood the difference of something being important vs. urgent came from a piece from Seth Godin: You know you should be focusing on the long-term journey, on building out the facility, signing up new customers or finishing your dissertation. But instead, there’s a queue of urgent things, all justifiable, all requiring you and you alone to …

intention over effort

In building a business, product management, productivity, sales, stories by Jay Clouse

Back in the day when I was hawking tickets with Tixers, I led our marketing efforts (on top of product, customer service, fraud prevention…) and I always forgot to plan a sales and marketing campaign for Black Friday. In both 2014 and 2015, I remember looking at the date and realizing I was a few days away from Thanksgiving, and …

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living like a tracker

In inspiration, learning, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

One of the podcasts I’ve gotten into lately at the recommendation of my upside cohost, Eric, is Invest Like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. What I like about this podcast is that besides speaking with obviously great investors, the individuals he interviews have very interesting perspectives on life outside of investing. Recently, he re-ran an episode with Boyd Varty, a …

good writing is made in the edit

In inspiration, learning, productivity by Jay Clouse

The more that I write, whether for this newsletter, my Linkedin Learning courses, or otherwise, the more I am reminded that good work is made during the editing phase. The problem is that getting started is the hardest, most daunting part. It’s the part that takes me the longest to do — actually start word vomiting onto a page. But …

pacing // counterpoint

In building a business, deep thoughts, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

Yesterday I wrote about my recent focus on pacing and how to best utilize my energy. As with most of my viewpoints, there’s another side to the coin. There are very few things that are truly binary or black and white…and so I wanted to share the nagging counterpoint I hear when I telling myself to focus on pace and …

pacing

In deep thoughts, motivation, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

I can’t stop thinking about this article talking about LeBron resting during games. If you don’t follow the NBA, all you really need to know is that LeBron plays more minutes on the court than just about anyone else. During the Cavs playoff run, he was spending almost zero time on the bench. How did he do it? James has …

I’m not busy

In deep thoughts, personal brand, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

At any given time, there’s something I’m trying to either weed out of my behavior/mannerisms, or something I’m trying to incorporate. Right now, I’m focused on how I respond to the question, “How have you been?” or “What have you been up to?” I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said, “Good! Really busy.” Or something similar. Not only …

my meta exercise

In inspiration, motivation, productivity, stories by Jay Clouse

I’m so stoked that it’s warming up in Ohio and I can get back to comfortably running outside again. My gym closed down a couple of months ago, so running has been the only exercise I’ve been taking while I (slowly) look for a new gym. Running outside is great, because I can feel and see myself making progress. I …

the point of no return

In inspiration, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

It’s time for me to make another running analogy. Most of the time, my biggest threat is simply inertia (also known as  The Resistance). This seems like so much work. I’ve never done this before. How am I possibly going to do this? One of the ways I push myself through this is to create a different, smaller goal that sort …

opportunity cost is too painless

In deep thoughts, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

If task or project management was Dungeons and Dragons, I would be a Grand Master. Right now, I’ve said “yes” to more things than I should have. I’m overcommitted, stretched thin, and really feeling the consequences. Being a Grand Master project manager, everything is moving forward. I haven’t dropped any balls, and seemingly everything is still going smoothly. But the …

an argument against “shipping”

In creativity, inspiration, productivity by Jay Clouse

You’re reading a daily newsletter right now, and inside this daily newsletter I’ve often talked about the value of putting out your signal and shipping new work regularly, even before you think it’s totally ready. I heard a compelling argument against that recently that I wanted to share. It came from the A24 podcast and a conversation between Bo Burnham …

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going first

In inspiration, leadership, motivation, relationships by Jay Clouse

I’m really lucky to be in Columbus, Ohio. Having been in one major city for the past nearly 10 years, I’ve been able to dig deeply into different communities here, and create a good name for myself in a handful of circles. Because I pushed myself to “network” and volunteer in the community several years ago, it’s actually not very …

the hidden risk of taking advice

In deep thoughts, inspiration, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

Make no mistake, one of the most important factors in my life has been mentorship. But there’s a surreptitious risk to mentorship — and it’s when “advice” isn’t really advice. Sometimes, “advice” is really a veil over self-validation. Instead of giving thoughtful, calculated, and unbiased recommendations based upon personal experience, sometimes people will simply give prescriptive “advice” that you follow …

relationships and infinite games follow up

In inspiration, leadership, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

I got a lot of great feedback on yesterday’s piece related to relationships and finite/infinite games. A little bit of inside baseball, I realized the terms “finite” and “infinite” games may be new to some folks. I borrowed the phrase from a book by James Carse called, Finite and Infinite Games. The phrases are defined on the cover of the …

relationships and infinite games

In building a business, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

I really can’t overstate the value of relationships. Relationships really make the world go ’round, and they are also (in my opinion) the most fulfilling part of life. I’m blown away by the volume of Linkedin messages and emails I get on a daily basis that jump from zero (I don’t even know this person) to 100 (want to hire …

what do you mean you can’t?

In motivation, relationships by Jay Clouse

I take issue with the phrase, “I can’t.” There are a few different meanings behind the phrase, “I can’t:” I am (truly) physically/mentally/emotionally unable I believe I am physically/mentally/emotionally unable I have a conflict and I refuse to prioritize this I have no conflict I just don’t want to In the case of meaning #1, the phrase “I can’t” is acceptable. …

protecting myself from myself

In inspiration, learning, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

You probably know what it’s like to feel like you’re seeing opportunity all the time. Maybe it’s your own idea, or someone else bringing you an opportunity, but it seems like when we’re open to it, opportunity is surrounding us. But every time we say yes to an opportunity, we’re implicitly saying no to another. So if you’re like me, …

appreciation

In inspiration, relationships by Jay Clouse

There isn’t much people enjoy getting more than appreciation. It doesn’t cost you anything to give, neither time nor money, and it’s virtually impossible to give too much of it. Hey, thank you for ____. I noticed you did ____, and I really appreciate that. With such a powerful gift at the ready at all times, why not give more?

vulnerability and conflict

In learning, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

There’s a lot of talk these days about vulnerability and the need for people to embrace making themselves vulnerable. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought and intent into over the last several months, with varying degrees of success. For one, it’s difficult for me to understand the line between transparency and vulnerability. This newsletter, my social media, the …

opinions vs. experience

In learning, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

I spent this weekend with 14 other individuals in a Florida Airbnb named, “Decadent Compound” as part of an amazing birthday celebration of my good friend, Jordan. She booked the trip with the intention of bringing together 14 people who have been important to her, that she thought would get along, and frankly most of us were strangers to one …

social contracts

In leadership, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

Last week I was in Calgary (Alberta, Canada) speaking at an event called INVENTURE$ by Alberta Innovates. The conference brought together government, entrepreneurs, investors, and big corporate with the goal of new economic development in Alberta, which is historically an oil and gas province. During my short visit to Calgary, I had the opportunity to meet with some amazing people …

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relationships and infinite games

In building a business, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

I really can’t overstate the value of relationships. Relationships really make the world go ’round, and they are also (in my opinion) the most fulfilling part of life. I’m blown away by the volume of Linkedin messages and emails I get on a daily basis that jump from zero (I don’t even know this person) to 100 (want to hire …

protecting myself from myself

In inspiration, learning, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

You probably know what it’s like to feel like you’re seeing opportunity all the time. Maybe it’s your own idea, or someone else bringing you an opportunity, but it seems like when we’re open to it, opportunity is surrounding us. But every time we say yes to an opportunity, we’re implicitly saying no to another. So if you’re like me, …

don’t sell over email

In building a business, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

Continuing on with yesterday’s theme of conflicting perspectives, I want to talk about selling. Specifically, let’s talk about selling via email. Hey! You sell stuff over email sometimes! You’re right, italicized font. And that’s a distinction I want to draw — I want to speak about offers, proposals, and opportunities you’re really trying to make one-to-one. Scenario: You just met …

de-risking yourself as a reputational risk

In personal brand, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

Over the last year or two, I’ve become aware of the fact that I generally don’t have much difficulty getting in touch with someone I want to talk to. I’ve written about access being easier than you think and how I got onto one of my favorite podcasts just by asking. But I’m realizing it’s not as easy as just asking, …

people don’t really care about what you’re doing

In building a business, creativity, inspiration, motivation, personal brand, sales by Jay Clouse

…and that should be a totally liberating reality. Yesterday I wrote about developing a thick skin being essential to being an entrepreneur or creative professional. That only happens by creating “friction” by putting yourself out there. And, yes, some self-promotion. Self-promotion is a polarizing idea — some people really demonize the idea of self-promotion. And I think it comes from a …

intention over effort

In building a business, product management, productivity, sales, stories by Jay Clouse

Back in the day when I was hawking tickets with Tixers, I led our marketing efforts (on top of product, customer service, fraud prevention…) and I always forgot to plan a sales and marketing campaign for Black Friday. In both 2014 and 2015, I remember looking at the date and realizing I was a few days away from Thanksgiving, and …

it’s always scary

In building a business, creativity, motivation, sales, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

On Friday, I closed applications for the current session of Unreal Collective’s 12-week program. As we had the last session, the incoming cohort is 15 members strong including entrepreneurs, freelancers, designers, engineers, artists, marketers, lawyers, and more. I can’t wait to share even more about them and their work in the coming three months. And at the beginning of December, …

The Works Package

In relationships, sales, stories by Jay Clouse

Just because I haven’t had enough fun with cars in the past couple of weeks, I went to get an oil change yesterday. I’ve mostly gone to the same place since owning my Ford – a local dealership. They have a rewards program and it’s a short enough drive. What I’ve noticed is they always run a coupon for a …

why I tip 20%

In relationships, sales, stories by Jay Clouse

Between my undergraduate junior and senior years of college, I decided to forego a regular internship and get some experience in the service industry by bartending and serving. Those two jobs were two of the most important I’ve ever had, even though I could no longer tell you how to make a proper Sazerac. Since that time, the way I …

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vulnerability and conflict

In learning, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

There’s a lot of talk these days about vulnerability and the need for people to embrace making themselves vulnerable. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought and intent into over the last several months, with varying degrees of success. For one, it’s difficult for me to understand the line between transparency and vulnerability. This newsletter, my social media, the …

the stories we tell ourselves

In deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

For a while (until it wore off) I had an address label on my wallet that I had written on it, “why are you buying this?” When I was at a restaurant or store, I saw several people look at it and laugh. Sure, it did serve a small purpose to make me think about whether or not I should be …

opinions vs. experience

In learning, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

I spent this weekend with 14 other individuals in a Florida Airbnb named, “Decadent Compound” as part of an amazing birthday celebration of my good friend, Jordan. She booked the trip with the intention of bringing together 14 people who have been important to her, that she thought would get along, and frankly most of us were strangers to one …

flipping a new lie

In creativity, deep thoughts, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

Right before I took my summer writing break (which I just cut short), I shared some information about why I started writing in the first place. In the words of my coach and mentor, Chris, I needed to “flip the lie” I was telling myself — and specifically, I was telling myself that I wasn’t an artist or able to …

rules — real or imaginary?

In creativity, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

A few months ago, I signed up for Level 1 improv classes because I thought I’d be good at them. Then, just a couple weeks ago, I signed up for Level 2 improv classes because I realized I was not. But I’m really enjoying the process of it, for a lot of reasons. For one, it’s fun to fail hard …

attitude, unnecessary risk, and 8th grade football

In deep thoughts, learning, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

I’ve written before about my varsity football record being 5-25 over three years. BUT, we were actually pretty good and mostly undefeated from grades 7-9. What I’m trying to say is, we had some dominating 14-year-old athletes. One of those athletes was our backup quarterback. He was a backup, but at that age it’s more like “second” quarterback, because he …

put on a show

In inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

When I was in high school, our football team wasn’t very good. My sophomore year we went 2-8, my junior year we went 2-8, and then my senior year….we went 1-9. Woof. Before all of our games my senior year, we had a team dinner. And during that dinner, we had a local church pastor give some remarks to help …

my gym closed, and I’m upset about it

In learning, stories by Jay Clouse

I had a really sweet deal. By random chance, the gym I worked at while I was in college was across the street from my current apartment. When I moved in, I weaseled my way into a free membership, which I’ve enjoyed for the past couple of years. But about two months ago, the gym closed. And I’m upset about …

exercising agency and influence

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

Learning to be a leader is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do. Besides high school sports, my first leadership position was running a college newspaper organization, and I ran it into the ground. It no longer exists. Later on in college, I more successfully ran the OSU entrepreneurship organization, where I learned the important of succession planning. …

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Parkinson’s Law: friend or foe?

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

For the last two weeks, I’ve been participating in Seth Godin’s altMBA program. It’s an amazing experience with the goal of helping people “level up and lead.” In my own terms, I’d say the program challenges how we are taught to think. It changes how we are taught to lead, interact with each other, and make decisions. What is so …

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your personal unfair advantage

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

Life isn’t fair. It’s one of those clichés you hear over and over again, and a tenet that you’ve probably experienced firsthand. But the unfairness of life is precisely what can lead to success and growth. When the unfairness of life plays to your advantage, you’re suddenly faced with opportunity you may not have noticed before and may not be available to …

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6 keys for making and keeping friends

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

At this point in my life, I am convinced that there is nothing more sacred and important than interpersonal relationships. Family, friendships, and romantic relationships. I doubt much convincing is necessary here, but all roads lead to relationships: People who want power are hungry for acceptance and validation within their relationships People who want fame are hungry for acceptance and validation within their relationships …

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the best way to find a mentor

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

A question I’m frequently asked is, “how do you find a mentor?” It’s a pretty innocuous question, and it’s almost always asked with the best of intentions. But I hate it. I don’t look for mentors. To ask how I find a mentor is to assume some sort of search, which I’ve never really done. Don’t get me wrong, I think mentorship is extremely important and I’ve …

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don’t talk shit

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

It’s impossible to please everyone. There’s no real reason to try and please everyone, because for every one person you please you are by default going to upset someone else. Besides that, there are going to be plenty of people you don’t like. Why make an effort to please them? No real reason to do that either. But to deliberately make an effort to upset someone is not …

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my first podcast feat. David Sherry

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

I need your help. It wasn’t long ago that the most overused phrase was, “There’s an app for that.” Lately, it seems that the new trend has been podcasts: everybody has a ‘great’ podcast idea, and everybody has something to say. I am no different. Over the past few years, it’s become increasingly obvious to me that the most important part of …

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on dating

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

Something’s been eating me. Ever since I started writing again, there’s been one topic that I’ve always wanted to write about, but felt that it was untouchable: dating. It is an uncomfortable and risky topic for me to dig into, but I’m going to do it. There will be no anecdotes, there will be no “subtweets” and there will be no names …

opportunity vs. timing

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

One of the rarest phenomenons we experience is “good timing.” With so many variables constantly in play, it’s nearly impossible for things to align and present an opportunity in an ideal time and space. Opportunity brings risk, ambiguity, and an element of fear. It’s very easy and very tempting to write off opportunity by calling it “bad timing.” But opportunity is …

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friendly reminder: everything is going to be fine

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

How have you been? “Good, busy…” I know. We’ve all been busy. And right now, maybe things are stressful. Maybe things are hard. Maybe you’re really struggling with one thing in particular. Maybe that one thing is consuming all of your mind right now. I’m just here to remind you that everything is going to be fine. Look outside right now – …

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cutting myself some slack

In Uncategorized by Jay Clouse

When I was in middle and high school, my favorite thing to do before baseball practice or games was to go to McDonald’s. I know that sounds sad and weird, but I promise it had nothing to do with the food. My friends and I were obsessed with these new Megatouch kiosks that let us play Photo Hunt. If you are unfamiliar …

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exhausting your options

In building a business, creativity, deep thoughts, learning, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

In February I had the chance to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, TropicalMBA. It was their first shot at a new format, a “consulting” episode where they listen to a business owner talk about their challenges and make some recommendations. I talked about the challenges of running a cyclical, pseudo-service-based business — things like cash flow, …

one year into the journey

In building a business, inspiration, stories, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

A year ago today, I walked into the office of my job, poured a coffee, and asked the COO if we could sit down and talk. We both knew what was coming next, but it was still tough. I put in my two weeks notice that morning, for reasons that I’ve written about before. (Actually, this post is one of …

why are you doing that?

In building a business, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

I’m seeing a pattern lately, both in my own thinking and the thinking of others, and it’s a confusion of goals. When you’re making an effort to do or create something, you need to be clear on what your goal for doing or creating that thing is. Let me give you an example: I’m starting a podcast to get better …

recalibrating

In inspiration, learning, motivation, stories, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

Yesterday morning I went to the gym with a friend of mine, named Jared. The dude is jacked, knows his stuff when it comes to fitness, and offered to help put some workout and nutritional plans together for me so I could fulfill my dream of looking like an action figure. We did more reps of various exercises yesterday morning …

behind the scenes: interview with TropicalMBA

In building a business, interview, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

As I’ve shared before, I’m a huge believer in access (to people, places, things) being easier than we often think. (Here’s an older piece on that). But generally, I think we put things on a pedestal and negative self-talk our way into not making an effort towards obtaining things we want all the time. You may have noticed that in …

great experiences

In building a business, creativity, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

Tonight, the newest members of Unreal Collective and I start our 12 week journey together with a community kickoff call, where all 15 new members have the opportunity to meet each other face to face. This will be the third session kick off and I find myself putting more and more intention into the experience of the call itself. Actually, …

it’s always scary

In building a business, creativity, motivation, sales, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

On Friday, I closed applications for the current session of Unreal Collective’s 12-week program. As we had the last session, the incoming cohort is 15 members strong including entrepreneurs, freelancers, designers, engineers, artists, marketers, lawyers, and more. I can’t wait to share even more about them and their work in the coming three months. And at the beginning of December, …

2017 in review, 2018 in preview

In building a business, inspiration, learning, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

This was a wild year for me. I began the year employed at CrossChx, where I was learning a ton about leadership, product management, and the healthcare industry. At one point I was managing eight members of a sales team while working directly with 7-12 engineers at any given time. I knew that 2017 was the year I wanted to …

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