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, …

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 …

don’t fear a quiet launch

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

In truth, I think the word “launch” is thrown around too willy-nilly. Launches are still a thing, and have historically been a thing, but I think it connotes a reality most of us don’t have the luxury of living in. The word “launch” has a feeling of a sort of massive propulsion from 0 to 100 on the drop of …

upside // a podcast about startups outside of SV

In building a business, creativity, stories by Jay Clouse

tl;dr: we launched our podcast, upside, yesterday on iTunes and Google Play. ### You know how cable companies will tell you they’ll arrive within the hours of 9am to 5pm and you just sort of have to wait and hope for the best? Submitting your podcast to major publishing platforms is kind of like that. Eric Hornung and I have …

balancing consumption with production

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

About 8 months ago, I really got into this podcast called Dissect. This podcast dedicates an entire season to one particular music album and every episode in the season is a track-by-track analysis and breakdown. Last season, the podcast dissected Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Every episode is 35-45 minutes breaking down a 3-8 minute song and the guy …

See All building a business Posts

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, …

don’t fear a quiet launch

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

In truth, I think the word “launch” is thrown around too willy-nilly. Launches are still a thing, and have historically been a thing, but I think it connotes a reality most of us don’t have the luxury of living in. The word “launch” has a feeling of a sort of massive propulsion from 0 to 100 on the drop of …

upside // a podcast about startups outside of SV

In building a business, creativity, stories by Jay Clouse

tl;dr: we launched our podcast, upside, yesterday on iTunes and Google Play. ### You know how cable companies will tell you they’ll arrive within the hours of 9am to 5pm and you just sort of have to wait and hope for the best? Submitting your podcast to major publishing platforms is kind of like that. Eric Hornung and I have …

balancing consumption with production

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

About 8 months ago, I really got into this podcast called Dissect. This podcast dedicates an entire season to one particular music album and every episode in the season is a track-by-track analysis and breakdown. Last season, the podcast dissected Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Every episode is 35-45 minutes breaking down a 3-8 minute song and the guy …

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 …

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 …

developing a thick skin

In creativity, deep thoughts, inspiration by Jay Clouse

It takes courage to share something with the world because some people won’t like it. Some people will reject it and some people will tell you it’s not very good. They may be right — it may not be very good, or it just may not be for them. In either case, it will sting and it will make you …

barking

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

When I got to college at Ohio State, I had no idea what I was going to major in, but I was pretty sure that I was going to be a comedian. The first club I tried to join was the improv group on campus, 8th Floor Improv. I immediately got cut from the audition process my first quarter, tried …

See All creativity Posts

my greatest enemy

In deep thoughts, learning by Jay Clouse

I’m a very headstrong dude. When I put my mind to something…it’s going to happen. That’s probably one of my greatest strengths! And if you’ve been reading this for a while, you’ve read a couple pieces I’ve written about mindset and some of the mental challenges I run myself through on a regular basis to flex this muscle and make …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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. …

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 …

fighting against path dependence

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

On my run last night, I was catching up on Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, and he brought up an idea that I didn’t realize had a name: path dependence. From Wikipedia: Path dependence explains how the set of decisions one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions one has made in the past or by the events that …

seeing greener grass

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

Yesterday I spent the morning and afternoon in Cincinnati, just a couple hours south of Columbus. I was catching up with my friend Eric, who offered to show me around Union Hall. Union Hall is this amazing facility in Cincinnati that is a hub of their entrepreneurial/startup ecosystem. The building houses: Cintrifuse, a fund of funds designed to launch Cincinnati …

See All deep thoughts Posts

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 …

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 …

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. …

fighting against path dependence

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

On my run last night, I was catching up on Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, and he brought up an idea that I didn’t realize had a name: path dependence. From Wikipedia: Path dependence explains how the set of decisions one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions one has made in the past or by the events that …

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 …

don’t fear a quiet launch

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

In truth, I think the word “launch” is thrown around too willy-nilly. Launches are still a thing, and have historically been a thing, but I think it connotes a reality most of us don’t have the luxury of living in. The word “launch” has a feeling of a sort of massive propulsion from 0 to 100 on the drop of …

seeing greener grass

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

Yesterday I spent the morning and afternoon in Cincinnati, just a couple hours south of Columbus. I was catching up with my friend Eric, who offered to show me around Union Hall. Union Hall is this amazing facility in Cincinnati that is a hub of their entrepreneurial/startup ecosystem. The building houses: Cintrifuse, a fund of funds designed to launch Cincinnati …

balancing consumption with production

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

About 8 months ago, I really got into this podcast called Dissect. This podcast dedicates an entire season to one particular music album and every episode in the season is a track-by-track analysis and breakdown. Last season, the podcast dissected Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Every episode is 35-45 minutes breaking down a 3-8 minute song and the guy …

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

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 …

the problem with advice

In deep thoughts, leadership, learning by Jay Clouse

Feedback is a wonderful, beautiful, and powerful thing. Advice is a specific form of feedback and can also be wonderful, beautiful, and powerful. The danger of advice is who you take it from. Remember that opinions are like assholes: everyone has them. And when asked for an opinion, or asked for advice, it is our natural instinct to provide it. …

using success to pull others up

In inspiration, leadership, stories by Jay Clouse

This weekend I visited Denver, Colorado, to watch some good friends of mine play a show at Red Rocks. The band, a trio named Edison, are all from Colorado and have dreamed of playing a show at Red Rocks for most of their lives. Variety recently wrote about how national acts can struggle to play the venue as it may …

the importance of succession planning

In leadership, stories by Jay Clouse

My first major college decision was that I was going to be a comedian. How hard could it be? Two failed auditions to get onto the improv group later, I decided I belonged on the writing side of comedy, and I found The Ohio State Sentinel.  The Sentinel had been around for years and was the most popular satirical newspaper …

please take elevator to the second floor

In leadership, stories by Jay Clouse

Yesterday I attended a Boost Your Business event organized by Facebook at COSI. Reflecting on that statement, it seems a little weird in retrospect that such an event was held at “a dynamic hands on science center…” but I digress. Walking into the building, I followed some posted signs pointing me in the direction of the correct room in the …

See All leadership Posts

my greatest enemy

In deep thoughts, learning by Jay Clouse

I’m a very headstrong dude. When I put my mind to something…it’s going to happen. That’s probably one of my greatest strengths! And if you’ve been reading this for a while, you’ve read a couple pieces I’ve written about mindset and some of the mental challenges I run myself through on a regular basis to flex this muscle and make …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

fighting against path dependence

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

On my run last night, I was catching up on Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, and he brought up an idea that I didn’t realize had a name: path dependence. From Wikipedia: Path dependence explains how the set of decisions one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions one has made in the past or by the events that …

See All learning Posts

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 …

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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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

fighting against path dependence

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

On my run last night, I was catching up on Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, and he brought up an idea that I didn’t realize had a name: path dependence. From Wikipedia: Path dependence explains how the set of decisions one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions one has made in the past or by the events that …

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 …

See All motivation Posts

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 …

permission marketing in networking

In personal brand, relationships by Jay Clouse

As you are probably already aware, I’m a big Seth Godin fan. Seth Godin thinks differently about marketing than most marketing gurus – and I love it. Recently I watched a video where he described permission marketing. Every time you engage with someone, you are either making yourself more irreplaceable (and justifying why paying attention to you is worth it) …

my filter for deciding where to dedicate my time

In creativity, learning, motivation, personal brand by Jay Clouse

As you develop knowledge and skill, you find and are presented with more and more opportunities. As I’m sure you know, there is no shortage of ways to spend your time! It can be overwhelming or paralyzing trying to determine where to invest your most precious of resources: time. At this point, I really only ask myself two questions: Am …

hacks for earning trust

In building a business, personal brand, relationships by Jay Clouse

As I’ve written before, our marketing culture is becoming more and more obsessed with “hacks” for getting a short term result from minimal effort. Growth hacks, marketing hacks, networking hacks, sales hacks… What’s the shortest line between here and there – regardless of any other implications? This focus on short term results destroys any likelihood for a meaningful relationship. It sacrifices …

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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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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 …

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 …

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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. …

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, …

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 …

the human change curve

In deep thoughts, learning, relationships by Jay Clouse

You’re probably familiar with the year 1969 as the year the United States landed on the moon and the cause of a catchy, but all-in-all pretty average, song by Bryan Adams. But it was also the year that psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote On Death and Dying. The book was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients near death, and in …

two-way stop

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

Along a route I often take to get back to my apartment, there is a two-way stop just before approaching the on-ramp to the highway. Headed in my direction, traffic does not stop heading through the intersection, but the intersecting street has a sign on both sides. Often as I approach this intersection with the two-way stop, cars approaching their …

leaving the loop open

In deep thoughts, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

We hate the unknown. Where there is unknown, we are wired to try and fill the void with a narrative. This explains why ancient civilizations have such rich storytelling and so little science. I would guess that thousands of years ago, a farmer with a drought was so frustrated he literally did a rain dance. By luck, warm air cooled …

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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 …

focusing on more value first

In building a business, relationships, sales, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

An undercurrent of my day to day is thinking about the impending new cycle of members for Unreal Collective. I’m constantly thinking, How do I create marketing channels to share my message with new people? Am I having enough conversations with potential members now? How can I grow my email list so that I make the top of my funnel bigger? …

the right time to build relationships

In building a business, relationships, sales by Jay Clouse

More and more, I find myself in conversations related to sales and finding clients or customers. It makes sense; sales are at the heart of all businesses, and I’m constantly talking to business owners (even those with a side hustle). The internet and some breakout, outlying successes have had a profound impact on how so many of us think about …

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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. …

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 …

don’t fear a quiet launch

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

In truth, I think the word “launch” is thrown around too willy-nilly. Launches are still a thing, and have historically been a thing, but I think it connotes a reality most of us don’t have the luxury of living in. The word “launch” has a feeling of a sort of massive propulsion from 0 to 100 on the drop of …

upside // a podcast about startups outside of SV

In building a business, creativity, stories by Jay Clouse

tl;dr: we launched our podcast, upside, yesterday on iTunes and Google Play. ### You know how cable companies will tell you they’ll arrive within the hours of 9am to 5pm and you just sort of have to wait and hope for the best? Submitting your podcast to major publishing platforms is kind of like that. Eric Hornung and I have …

seeing greener grass

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

Yesterday I spent the morning and afternoon in Cincinnati, just a couple hours south of Columbus. I was catching up with my friend Eric, who offered to show me around Union Hall. Union Hall is this amazing facility in Cincinnati that is a hub of their entrepreneurial/startup ecosystem. The building houses: Cintrifuse, a fund of funds designed to launch Cincinnati …

the pressure to be “official”

In building a business, deep thoughts, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

Our society loves bringing order and structure to things. I personally love organization and “putting things in their place,” but I think there’s a real downside to this. I was talking to a friend and mentee of mine last week, and we got to talking about how I decide what types of things I involve myself in — the projects …

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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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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 …

you can absolutely figure it out

In learning, motivation, productivity, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

Look, I’m a millennial. Some folks would say that means that I’m entitled, over-confident, yada yada yada…but I have a lot of faith in my generation. We are extremely smart, motivated, and we love to work our asses off. We’ve been raised with the internet and are wizards at Googling, researching, repurposing, and generally “figuring things out.” I am totally …

how to make 2018 a pivotal year

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

As we approach the end of 2017, I am reflecting on this year and some of the huge milestones I’ve reached in my personal and professional development. Politics and popular culture aside, I really can’t understate how incredible 2017 has been for me. I’ve taken big risks, made the leap from full time employment to full time self-employment, and learned …

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