law of attraction follow up

On Friday, I sent a piece talking about the law of attraction and asking for your own thoughts. I was completely blown away by the number of responses, and the thoughtfulness of those responses! This may (but shouldn’t) come as a surprise, but I read and respond to every response I get from this email list. Some days I get …

one year into the journey

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 …

hey! look at me!

Yesterday I shared some photos on my instagram from my current trip to Ventura, CA. – – – – – – Looks pretty cool, right? I’m kicking ass, right?Well, not pictured here are the 2.5 hours I sat on an airplane Sunday night for a flight that got canceled. Not pictured here is the frantic changing of my schedule this week …

don’t sell over email

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 …

why are you doing that?

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 …

there is no substitute for production

It’s about who you know. Your network is your net worth. …cliché, cliché, cliché… I totally buy into the value of personal connection, a powerful network, and strong relationships. If you know the right people to talk to, you can get just about anything done or at least find the answers to how you get anything done. But meeting people …

driving in the dark

As I’ve written before about being directionally correct, we don’t know the full path to get to where we are trying to go. Recently, I came across a quote by E.L. Doctorow in the book Bird By Bird that I loved: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but …

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

…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 …

important but not urgent

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 …

are you suffering from myopia?

No, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to talk about your vision being nearsighted. During an Unreal group call last night, a member on the hot seat was talking about his business and mentioned a problem that I think is super common. He was talking about a trap he, and I, often fall into — which is being …

See All building a business Posts

law of attraction follow up

On Friday, I sent a piece talking about the law of attraction and asking for your own thoughts. I was completely blown away by the number of responses, and the thoughtfulness of those responses! This may (but shouldn’t) come as a surprise, but I read and respond to every response I get from this email list. Some days I get …

an argument against “shipping”

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

…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

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

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 …

trusting my instincts (like an artist)

One of the best books I’ve read in the past year is Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist. The gist of the book is that all great artists take inspiration from other artists. Said even more broadly, your work is informed by (and may even be a copy of) the works of others. Kleon’s argument that even if you tried …

Creative Mornings: Anxiety

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to speak at Creative Mornings Columbus. Creative Mornings is a global organization, and every month the core team designates a theme for that month’s speakers across the country. In January, the theme was Anxiety and the Columbus speaker seeker (thanks, Julie!) asked me to present on the topic. Anxiety is …

great experiences

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, …

blissful dissatisfaction

Two weeks ago I shared a piece called “ordinary inputs” that discussed the sacrifices and behavior changes required to do extraordinary work. When you’re doing any type of creative work or starting a business, you’re already doing something that is not “normal” by the standards of society.Not normal isn’t bad, in fact I think it’s great, it’s just not what the …

switching costs

As I’ve met more entrepreneurs who sell physical products, I’ve learned more and more about the process of manufacturing. In case it’s new to you, let me give you a quick example. Let’s say you wanted to create a mixer bottle (shoutout to the Columbus-made Titan Mixer Bottle — no affiliation, just love the product). To have the product manufactured, …

See All creativity Posts

law of attraction follow up

On Friday, I sent a piece talking about the law of attraction and asking for your own thoughts. I was completely blown away by the number of responses, and the thoughtfulness of those responses! This may (but shouldn’t) come as a surprise, but I read and respond to every response I get from this email list. Some days I get …

the law of attraction

Over the past year, I’ve been putting more and more stock into the idea of the Law of Attraction. From Wikipedia: …the law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both …

hey! look at me!

Yesterday I shared some photos on my instagram from my current trip to Ventura, CA. – – – – – – Looks pretty cool, right? I’m kicking ass, right?Well, not pictured here are the 2.5 hours I sat on an airplane Sunday night for a flight that got canceled. Not pictured here is the frantic changing of my schedule this week …

opportunity cost is too painless

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 …

I remember when the sky was falling

A couple of weeks ago, I remember having that feeling of the sky was falling. I was behind on deadlines, new complications came out of nowhere, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get a couple initiatives back on track. I went for a run, continued pressing on, and operated under the new circumstances until I figured it …

driving in the dark

As I’ve written before about being directionally correct, we don’t know the full path to get to where we are trying to go. Recently, I came across a quote by E.L. Doctorow in the book Bird By Bird that I loved: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but …

developing a thick skin

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

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 …

what if it didn’t happen to you

Bad (undesired) things happen all the time. At least we think they are bad, because we are putting them in the context of some other outcome that we want. But, as this Chinese proverb about luck points out, everything ends the same way (we die). Whether or not a specific event or circumstance is good or bad totally depends on …

talking to myself

Over the past year, I’ve been given the opportunity to speak at different meetups and events, and I noticed something about the Q&A portion that surprised me. Every time I finished the presentation and move to audience questions, I would be both surprised and impressed by my own answers. That sounds a little arrogant, so let me unpack that a …

See All deep thoughts Posts

law of attraction follow up

On Friday, I sent a piece talking about the law of attraction and asking for your own thoughts. I was completely blown away by the number of responses, and the thoughtfulness of those responses! This may (but shouldn’t) come as a surprise, but I read and respond to every response I get from this email list. Some days I get …

the law of attraction

Over the past year, I’ve been putting more and more stock into the idea of the Law of Attraction. From Wikipedia: …the law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both …

one year into the journey

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 …

hey! look at me!

Yesterday I shared some photos on my instagram from my current trip to Ventura, CA. – – – – – – Looks pretty cool, right? I’m kicking ass, right?Well, not pictured here are the 2.5 hours I sat on an airplane Sunday night for a flight that got canceled. Not pictured here is the frantic changing of my schedule this week …

the point of no return

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 …

going full speed

When I was in high school, classes and grades came easy to me — I was a pretty lazy student because I had the luxury of not needing to work very hard to outperform the majority of my class. What didn’t come easy to me was athletics. And I really, really wanted to be good at sports. My eyes got …

an argument against “shipping”

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 …

I remember when the sky was falling

A couple of weeks ago, I remember having that feeling of the sky was falling. I was behind on deadlines, new complications came out of nowhere, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get a couple initiatives back on track. I went for a run, continued pressing on, and operated under the new circumstances until I figured it …

there is no substitute for production

It’s about who you know. Your network is your net worth. …cliché, cliché, cliché… I totally buy into the value of personal connection, a powerful network, and strong relationships. If you know the right people to talk to, you can get just about anything done or at least find the answers to how you get anything done. But meeting people …

driving in the dark

As I’ve written before about being directionally correct, we don’t know the full path to get to where we are trying to go. Recently, I came across a quote by E.L. Doctorow in the book Bird By Bird that I loved: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but …

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look at the film

I started watching the Facebook original series “Tom vs. Time” about Tom Brady and the way he prepares mentally and physically for the game of football at his age (40). I had high hopes for the show, but it fell pretty flat for me (so I’m not even going to link it!). But what it did bring to mind is …

get the ball out of your court

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

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

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

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

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

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 …

is the edit worth it?

Since joining CrossChx, I’ve had more opportunity to lead people than ever before. Tixers was an extremely small company, and all of my leadership prior to that was volunteer groups. Leading full time employees, whom I did not hire and often had been at the company much longer than I had, was a different animal entirely. I’ve learned a lot …

a lesson from improv

When I started college, I was sure my calling was comedy. Up to the age of 19, it seemed like I was pretty good at making people laugh – how hard could it be? My first week on campus, the undergraduate improv troupe put on a free show in the lobby of my dorm. A whole bunch of weirdos taking …

how to remember names

It’s one of the most common phrases I hear. I’m really bad with names. I’m sorry, there’s no way I’m going to remember all these names. Brains aren’t naturally better or worse at remembering names! The human brain stores information in short-term memory for no more than 20-30 seconds at a time. That’s any information – whether it’s an address, directions, …

See All leadership Posts

the law of attraction

Over the past year, I’ve been putting more and more stock into the idea of the Law of Attraction. From Wikipedia: …the law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both …

driving in the dark

As I’ve written before about being directionally correct, we don’t know the full path to get to where we are trying to go. Recently, I came across a quote by E.L. Doctorow in the book Bird By Bird that I loved: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but …

recalibrating

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 …

look at the film

I started watching the Facebook original series “Tom vs. Time” about Tom Brady and the way he prepares mentally and physically for the game of football at his age (40). I had high hopes for the show, but it fell pretty flat for me (so I’m not even going to link it!). But what it did bring to mind is …

are you suffering from myopia?

No, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to talk about your vision being nearsighted. During an Unreal group call last night, a member on the hot seat was talking about his business and mentioned a problem that I think is super common. He was talking about a trap he, and I, often fall into — which is being …

talking to myself

Over the past year, I’ve been given the opportunity to speak at different meetups and events, and I noticed something about the Q&A portion that surprised me. Every time I finished the presentation and move to audience questions, I would be both surprised and impressed by my own answers. That sounds a little arrogant, so let me unpack that a …

micro doses of behavior change

At any given time, there’s at least one (but usually several) small aspects of myself that I’m intentionally working to change (and, in my mind, improve). I’ve written before about exercising more personal agency. I’m in the throes of trying (once again) to switch my sleep schedule and get up earlier in the morning. I’ve successfully removed the word “just” …

simplicity is not simple

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 …

collisions

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 …

why I don’t have 6-pack abs

As I’m writing this, my abs are very sore. I’ve always hated doing core workouts. But I’ve also dreamed of being 6-pack abs guy. Spoiler: I’ve never had a 6-pack in my life. Which really isn’t surprising when you consider the fact that I’ve never put emphasis on working out my core, eating correctly, and doing the actual work required to …

See All learning Posts

simplicity is not simple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 / June 2017

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

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

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

the point of no return

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 …

going full speed

When I was in high school, classes and grades came easy to me — I was a pretty lazy student because I had the luxury of not needing to work very hard to outperform the majority of my class. What didn’t come easy to me was athletics. And I really, really wanted to be good at sports. My eyes got …

there is no substitute for production

It’s about who you know. Your network is your net worth. …cliché, cliché, cliché… I totally buy into the value of personal connection, a powerful network, and strong relationships. If you know the right people to talk to, you can get just about anything done or at least find the answers to how you get anything done. But meeting people …

driving in the dark

As I’ve written before about being directionally correct, we don’t know the full path to get to where we are trying to go. Recently, I came across a quote by E.L. Doctorow in the book Bird By Bird that I loved: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but …

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

…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 …

barking

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 …

important but not urgent

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 …

recalibrating

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 …

look at the film

I started watching the Facebook original series “Tom vs. Time” about Tom Brady and the way he prepares mentally and physically for the game of football at his age (40). I had high hopes for the show, but it fell pretty flat for me (so I’m not even going to link it!). But what it did bring to mind is …

what if it didn’t happen to you

Bad (undesired) things happen all the time. At least we think they are bad, because we are putting them in the context of some other outcome that we want. But, as this Chinese proverb about luck points out, everything ends the same way (we die). Whether or not a specific event or circumstance is good or bad totally depends on …

See All motivation Posts

de-risking yourself as a reputational risk

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

…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

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

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

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

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

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 …

where a personal brand comes from

A personal brand comes from being a consistent person all the time. Your “brand” is the promise you are making to someone. A promise of what they can expect in how they interact with you. You are living that promise. If I have an interaction with you in person, that should be consistent with how I interact with you online. …

who is defining your box?

People tend to create anchors to quickly understand and explain concepts. And we use reference points and patterns to easily relate things to one another. If you look a little bit like Paul Rudd, they may describe you as… “Oh you know Jack. Kind of short, looks like Paul Rudd?” This is true for any axis. If you’re known as …

See All personal brand Posts

opportunity cost is too painless

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

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 …

look at the film

I started watching the Facebook original series “Tom vs. Time” about Tom Brady and the way he prepares mentally and physically for the game of football at his age (40). I had high hopes for the show, but it fell pretty flat for me (so I’m not even going to link it!). But what it did bring to mind is …

intention over effort

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 …

switching costs

As I’ve met more entrepreneurs who sell physical products, I’ve learned more and more about the process of manufacturing. In case it’s new to you, let me give you a quick example. Let’s say you wanted to create a mixer bottle (shoutout to the Columbus-made Titan Mixer Bottle — no affiliation, just love the product). To have the product manufactured, …

get the ball out of your court

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 …

taking a punch to the face is worth it

I am constantly blown away by the tools technology makes available to us. Crazy things are possible – sending money instantly between bank accounts, navigating using GPS, robot investors, etc. etc. Crazy stuff. As an online business owner, I have more ways to examine the health and effectiveness of my business and marketing than ever before. One of my favorite …

should you create for yourself or others?

In conversations with creators, one philosophical question frequently comes up. Should you create for yourself or for others? It would be amazing if you could say “both” with confidence, but it’s not that easy.  While a ton of iconic work is made out of the pure interests of the artist, successful products and businesses are most frequently created from understanding of …

my new system for having a great day

As you may expect, writing a daily newsletter has its challenges. Most days, I literally write the piece in the evening right before going to bed. A ton of people ask me how far in advance I write. And, sincerely, the answer is “hours.” I did this for a couple reasons (or so I told myself): I wanted to be …

what to do when you’re having trouble starting

You’ve certainly faced a task or situation that you’ve routinely put off and failed to get started. Something that seems so daunting that you’re actually paralyzed and unable to even get started. It’s easy to conflate this with a lack of motivation, but really it’s a lack of clarity. In these situations, it’s almost always the case that we’ve simply …

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the point of no return

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

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”

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

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 …

look at the film

I started watching the Facebook original series “Tom vs. Time” about Tom Brady and the way he prepares mentally and physically for the game of football at his age (40). I had high hopes for the show, but it fell pretty flat for me (so I’m not even going to link it!). But what it did bring to mind is …

micro doses of behavior change

At any given time, there’s at least one (but usually several) small aspects of myself that I’m intentionally working to change (and, in my mind, improve). I’ve written before about exercising more personal agency. I’m in the throes of trying (once again) to switch my sleep schedule and get up earlier in the morning. I’ve successfully removed the word “just” …

intention over effort

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 …

the sky is falling

Sometimes it feels like the sky is falling. People don’t like my work, that remark so-and-so just made seemed like a personal attack, I’m gaining weight because I’m a lazy piece of garbage… Those thoughts can set in so subtlety that I don’t question them. When they creep in slowly…insidiously…I can find myself completely stuck in my own head questioning …

Creative Mornings: Anxiety

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to speak at Creative Mornings Columbus. Creative Mornings is a global organization, and every month the core team designates a theme for that month’s speakers across the country. In January, the theme was Anxiety and the Columbus speaker seeker (thanks, Julie!) asked me to present on the topic. Anxiety is …

blissful dissatisfaction

Two weeks ago I shared a piece called “ordinary inputs” that discussed the sacrifices and behavior changes required to do extraordinary work. When you’re doing any type of creative work or starting a business, you’re already doing something that is not “normal” by the standards of society.Not normal isn’t bad, in fact I think it’s great, it’s just not what the …

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don’t sell over email

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 …

The Works Package

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 …

permission marketing in networking

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) …

Bon Iver made me feel like a jerk

I have no idea when I first head the song “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, but it was almost certainly my introduction to his music. It’s a classic! The falsetto, the feels it hits you with… With that voice, I basically imagined he looked just like Hozier or the yoga instructor who becomes a love interest to the protagonist’s girlfriend in …

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don’t sell over email

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

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

…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 …

are you suffering from myopia?

No, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to talk about your vision being nearsighted. During an Unreal group call last night, a member on the hot seat was talking about his business and mentioned a problem that I think is super common. He was talking about a trap he, and I, often fall into — which is being …

intention over effort

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

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

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%

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

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

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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law of attraction follow up

On Friday, I sent a piece talking about the law of attraction and asking for your own thoughts. I was completely blown away by the number of responses, and the thoughtfulness of those responses! This may (but shouldn’t) come as a surprise, but I read and respond to every response I get from this email list. Some days I get …

the law of attraction

Over the past year, I’ve been putting more and more stock into the idea of the Law of Attraction. From Wikipedia: …the law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both …

one year into the journey

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 …

hey! look at me!

Yesterday I shared some photos on my instagram from my current trip to Ventura, CA. – – – – – – Looks pretty cool, right? I’m kicking ass, right?Well, not pictured here are the 2.5 hours I sat on an airplane Sunday night for a flight that got canceled. Not pictured here is the frantic changing of my schedule this week …

going full speed

When I was in high school, classes and grades came easy to me — I was a pretty lazy student because I had the luxury of not needing to work very hard to outperform the majority of my class. What didn’t come easy to me was athletics. And I really, really wanted to be good at sports. My eyes got …

recalibrating

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 …

are you suffering from myopia?

No, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to talk about your vision being nearsighted. During an Unreal group call last night, a member on the hot seat was talking about his business and mentioned a problem that I think is super common. He was talking about a trap he, and I, often fall into — which is being …

talking to myself

Over the past year, I’ve been given the opportunity to speak at different meetups and events, and I noticed something about the Q&A portion that surprised me. Every time I finished the presentation and move to audience questions, I would be both surprised and impressed by my own answers. That sounds a little arrogant, so let me unpack that a …

intention over effort

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 …

two-way stop

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 …

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behind the scenes: interview with TropicalMBA

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 …

Parkinson’s Law: friend or foe?

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 …

Unreal recommendations | July 2017

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. …

a tale of two coffees (Hanlon’s Razor)

One Monday morning a couple of weeks ago, I stepped into Mission Coffee, as I often do, just before 8am. As part of my system for getting up early, I had a scheduled meeting over coffee with a friend of mine, John. As I walked in, I noticed another friend named Joey hanging out in the shop. I’ve seen Joey at …

sometimes I don’t want to write

This probably won’t surprise you, but it’s not easy to write every day. Like a lot of things, it’s a continuum: some days I’m inspired to write multiple pieces, other days I want my piece to just read, “TAKING THE DAY OFF.” But most days, I love the challenge and the practice. And most days I have something I genuinely want …

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your personal unfair advantage

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

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

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

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

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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one year into the journey

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?

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

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 …

are you suffering from myopia?

No, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to talk about your vision being nearsighted. During an Unreal group call last night, a member on the hot seat was talking about his business and mentioned a problem that I think is super common. He was talking about a trap he, and I, often fall into — which is being …

great experiences

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

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

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

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

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 …

professionals vs. amateurs

There are formal definitions for one who is a professional and one who is an amateur, generally pertaining to the ability to earn payment for his or her skills/occupation, but I prefer to look at someone’s mindset and actions. As I began writing my own dichotomy, I remembered it’s already written so well in Book II of The War of …

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