BigBoldImpact.com is the address.
For your reading pleasure...
BigBoldImpact.com is the address.
For your reading pleasure...
I like Paula Deen and, even though we don't share a lot in common when it comes to food (I'm vegetarian and stay away from dairy), I think there is a lot entrepreneurs can learn from her. And this still applies, regardless of whether or not she is "racist."
One of the things I mentioned in my review of her book two years ago, which we do have in common, is that we're both from the South. I've spent most of my life here. I was born in Nashville, which is where I live now, and I've also lived in both Memphis and a small town in Mississippi, both known for racism.
Not to call out relatives, but my own grandfather was known to use the word "nigger." It pissed me off so much, I once considered getting him a FUBU shirt as a gift, hoping the irony would somehow make me feel better.
And once, I had to stop Christmas festivities when my uncle told a joke about Mexicans, reminding all of my relatives that Jesus was also a man of color.
I was born in 1972. Paula Deen is was born in 1947 and I'm sure her experiences, as well as what was considered acceptable, were much more intense.
Age isn't an excuse. My father, born in 1945, and my mother, also born in 1947, were both born in the South and neither thinks or feels like my grandfather or uncle.
So I'm not making excuses.
But racism is something that exists everywhere and, when you see it all the time, it's easy to think that's the way things are. It's not "bad people being evil" as much as it is normal people, just like you or me, who picked up a bad thought pattern and never questioned it.
People are flawed, but even the most flawed people can teach us something. I think it's easy, in situations such as what Paula Deen is dealing with now, for everybody to jump in and take a swing. To me though, that's no different than the "bad thought pattern" of racial slurs -- both things happen due to frustration and feelings of powerlessness.
Let's learn from Paula Deen's situation and start being nicer to to each other!
I'm typing this from my new home -- an 800 square foot apartment with a bedroom to sleep in, a bedroom for an office, a small living area, an even smaller kitchen, and a single bathroom. Two months ago, I signed a six-month lease on it, although I just moved in yesterday.
And I use the term, "move in" loosely. I'm typing this on a Chromebook and I'm pretty much living out of a suitcase right now.
I don't want to get too confortable, because this is only temporary.
It's time to move forward, but I've got to take care of a few things, like selling my old house, before that can happen. That's how "moving forward" works and why it sometimes feels like you're regressing.
For example, when you quit your job to strike out on your own only to earn less money for a while... That seems crazy to a lot of people on the outside, but you know you can't get where you want to go without taking a step, even if that step has to happen before everything is "perfect."
Transition is not the same as regression, although those who aren't good with transition may tell you so.
Regression is what happens when you're not moving forward. This includes "standing still" -- staying at a job you hate, staying in a home that no longer works for you, or staying in a relationship you've outgrown. Any time you choose comfort over growth, you are regressing, because growth is the only way to move forward.
Don't take advice from people who are standing still, especially "employees" who work for somebody else. They're not playing the same game you are.
When I was growing up, I'd look at musicians who would seemingly have everything going for them and be completely blown away at how many of them would walk away from it or somehow self-sabotage things.
Why would somebody do this?
It's the same reason a guy walks away from dating a supermodel -- the situation on the inside isn't what it appears to be on the outside.
We think we know what we want, but until we actually experience it, we can't say for sure. Being a musician, or surgeon, or pilot, or attorney, or astronaut is pretty doable -- if you're willing to do the work.
But none of these things are like we think they are when looking at them from the outside. And this is why there is such a big difference in the amount of people who say they'd like these careers as opposed to the people who actually have them.
Most people figure out something isn't a match before they get to the final destination. Some people don't, which is why they walk away. Beyond that, people change. What worked for you last week might not work for you today.
If something isn't working, you have options. Life isn't always easy, but there can be ease.
I host a weekly talk radio show and do a lot of public speaking. Because of this, people assume a lot of things.
When I tell people I'm an introvert, most think I'm joking. "But you're so good with people," they'll say.
Which is true -- I am good with people.
But, for the most part, I find being around large groups of people draining. And by "large," I mean more than two or three others.
It's too stimulating.
When I fly on a plane, I wear noise-canceling Bose headphones over ear plugs. I can't stand the noise and, even worse, can't stand talking to somebody over the roar of engine noise.
I live in what most people would consider to be a fairly large house, but I rarely have people over.
The ringer on my phone is never on.
When I sleep at night, I wear an eyemask. The light from street lamps or passing cars is too stimulating.
My television has its own room. If that wasn't an option, I likely wouldn't have one at all.
By choice, I've never had a birthday party. I thought about it once, when I was around nine or 10, but after buying invitations, decided not to mail them.
Five weeks ago, I released a new book and have been "out there" a bit more than I usually would. This got me thinking about the subject and looking up more info about it online.
I've been amazed to find how many "turn introverts into extrovert" articles there are. To me, this is as impossible (and pointless) as turning homosexuals straight.
There is also a lot of what I consider to be misinformation advising people to treat introverts like they're fragile -- for example, "give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing" or "don't demand instant answers."
Because of this, I'm going to list some of the things I feel are positive about being an introvert.
1. Introverts are in control. - Because introverts are able to recharge by themselves, they don't have to rely on other people for this very important aspect of life.
2. In theory, introverts are more self-aware. - Because introverts spend more time alone, without the noise and influence of others, they spend more time looking at themselves.
3. Introverts are better at (many) things. - While it's important to collaborate on many things, mastery of something is often a solo project.
4. Introverts are automatically more bulletproof to distraction. - Because introverts like to spend time alone, they're automatically more bulletproof from generally shallow, "group" activities that are little more than socially stimulating.
Introverts aren't fragile, they simply like personal space.
When you're doing what really matters, it's easy to block out what doesn't matter. Things don't feel frantic, because you're engaged and living your purpose.
But how do you get to that place?
I started my company in 1995 and it feels like I'm just starting to be able to touch true purpose. And even now, I'm just on the edge. Sometimes, a lot of the time actually, it's still out of reach.
I feel the same way about authenticity.
It's not that i've spent the last 17 years hiding -- I just see where I've been holding back in the past.
When you put yourself out into the world in a big way, whether through a blog post, a YouTube video, a book, a record album, or just by signing your name to a petition, you open yourself up. On one hand, there are positive things, such as praise or acclaim. On the other though, you have comparisons to other people, criticism, and opinion.
The negatives of opening yourself up are why most people never go there.
Instead, they stay in a place where it feels safe -- a job, a bad relationship, a less-than-ideal living situation.
It's the devil they know. Even if they're in hell, but at least they have a roadmap.
And when they do open themselves up, for the world to see, it's just a small bit. A tiny little crack.
People watching get some of the picture, but never all of it. And they know something is missing.
The image above is a Ten of Swords Tarot card. As you can see, it's a guy with 10 swords in his back.
Why so many? It only takes one sword to kill somebody.
Thinking about putting yourself out into the world? if so, you might as well go full throttle. Yeah, it's scary as hell, but the chances of success are so much better, because only when you're at full throttle can fully unleash your passion for what you do. And people love something authentic, so why hold back on anything?
Is there a chance you'll still die? Absolutely.
By going big, you might end up with more swords in your back. It only takes a single sword to kill you though, so why play small?
Was out today and ran into a woman I hadn't seen for a couple of years. She asked me what I was doing and I mentioned my upcoming book.
She replied, "That's great. Just keep at it and you'll keep getting better and better."
I was thinking, "Bitch, please. If I move less than 50,000 copies of this thing, I'll be shocked. And don't you know this is my 10th book? It's not like I've never done this before."
But I kept my cool, smiled, and said, "You're right. Slow and steady wins the race."
Which is true, by the way... Slow and steady does win the race.
And "slow and steady" is exactly why I kept my cool. You win arguments with actions, not words.
But who is arguing? There was nothing I could have said that would have changed this woman's mind about how things are.
Why? Because she lives in a different world than I do, with different rules. In her world, things are exactly as she said they are.
I was being projected upon.
Projection happens a lot in business. It happens when people say you can't do something, or get pissed at you in the way you do it, even if you were successful. And it definitly happens when you're trying to buy a car (or a house, or a stereo, or anything) and the salesperson makes judgments as to what you can afford or what your needs are.
In short, it happens any time you upset the nice, smooth, and sterile pictures that people create in their minds about how things should be.
Fuck 'em. Their world is not your world.
Was at a show a few months ago. It was held at a venue that I'd been to several times before, but wasn't intimately familar with.
The place was packed. I got in a line, waiting for the restroom, and waited...
After a few minutes, I realized I was actually waiting for the merch booth.
It reminded me of a story about processionary caterpillars that I first heard from Earl NIghtingale. Jean Henri Fabre, a French entomologist studying these caterpillars, once led a group of them onto the rim of a large flowerpot. When he was finished, the lead caterpillar was immediately behind the last caterpillar in the procession, forming a complete circle.
Through both habit and instinct, the ring of caterpillars circled the flowerpot for seven days and seven nights, until they died from exhaustion and starvation. Although an ample supply of food, which would have saved them, was close and plainly visible, it was outside the range of the circle.
How many people act in a similar way?
The answer is that most people act this way. Are you one of them?
Look, I'm not one to judge. Both behavior patterns and ways of thinking can easily become habit for even the most aware of us. And even if we see it happening, it can be difficult to break away, because we don't want to risk leaving the comfort of our group.
You may be in Hell, but at least you know your way around.
This is one of the reasons why kids in Austin wear cowboy hats, kids in Boston would never be seen in a cowboy hat, and certain college students think "butt chugging" is a perfectly good way to consume wine.
Just because it's easier and more comforting to go with the flow doesn't mean that it's the best way to do things. In fact, it's usually not the best way to do things.
While you may feel safer following the rules of others, it's doubtful you'll feel happier.
It's also doubtful that you'll find success that way.
Happiness, freedom, and success come when you trust your own sense of authority and make your own rules. And that can be a bitch, because not only will it upset your comfort zone, it upsets the comfort zones of other people as well.
That's a small price to pay for happniess, freedom, and success though.
So many people miss the boat because they're trying to play the same game as others. They don't trust their own instincts.
Let me give you a music business example...
Did you know Meat Loaf was signed to Motown in 1970?
That would have been a good idea for a soul artist!
But Meat Loaf isn't a "soul" artist. He's much more intense than smooth. He’s the type who cries when he sees a greeting card commercial and throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. He’s a “rock opera” singer who will jump into the audience and kick your ass if you taunt him.
His Motown album tanked.
On the other hand, his album Bat Out of Hell has sold 43,000,000 copies.
Bat Out of Hell is an intense album. It’s Meat Loaf in audio form.
In 1993, while looking back on Bat Out of Hell album, his partner on the project, John Steinman, said it was "timeless in that it didn't fit into any trend.”
And it still hasn’t been part of any trend.
“It's never been a part of what's going on,” Steinman said. “You could release that record at any time and it would be out of place."
Every person has his own version of this, yet very few have the balls to actually do it.
It's easy to "get in the wrong line." Once you're there, it can be tough to go against the masses and walk away. Acknowledge that. Then do it anyway. It's the only way you'll get what you want.
This is a guest post by Laurel Staples about breaking through the fear zone and coming out better on the other side. Laurel is a Certified Health Coach specializing in helping busy professional women lose weight, de-stress, and gain back their energy though healthy diet and lifestyle changes. Visit LifeBodyBalance.com for more information on her and what she can do for you!
This past weekend, I went out to Valley View Camp in Greenbriar, TN for a zip lining adventure. The weather was absolutely amazing for zipping through the trees and over creeks and lakes, and it would have been just a nice exhilarating day in the woods until it came time for the Quantum Leap.
The Quantum Leap is a 55 foot tree trunk (with all the branches cut off) with a small 6x8" platform at the top.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to climb to the top, stand up on the platform and use the stick they give you to jump off the platform and ring the bell swinging from the trees. (Of course, you're completely roped in, but I can't say that takes the fear out of it.)
I was determined to do it, despite the fact that 3 out of 6 of my group members got too freaked out to make it to the top and had to be lowered back down.
It got me thinking, if I can do this, I can do anything...AND YOU CAN TOO!
But it wasn't easy...and that's the tricky part about most things in life that are actually worth doing...they're not always a walk in the park.
The moment before I try anything new in my life, there's always the fear of the unknown surrounding it. This cloud of fear can be denser at certain times than others.
When I quit my high-paying engineering job years ago to start my own business, I was literally shaking when I walked to my boss' office to turn in my resignation. My brain was charting out one compelling argument after another to keep me in the safety zone...
What if my new business fails?
What if I can't get another job?
What if I'm making a mistake?
But, as you know, fears will not only arise during big life transitions, but they'll also crop up for situations as small as trying a new food, learning a new skill or even driving to a new destination.
I remember when I first tried Brussels sprouts that alarms were going off in my brain telling me I was treading new and fearful territory. Or when I drove from Nashville to Denver by myself and was scared I would get lost (who gets lost on Interstate 70 going through Kansas??). Fortunately, both of those situations turn out well, but at the time, I didn't know what the outcome would be.
Over the years, I've noticed that no matter what new situation I face, fear is always there. It might have a different voice each time, but it's just the same old fear trying to protect me from unforeseen dangers.
I've learned to accept that fear is no longer a road block in my life, but it's a companion in this journey. The key is to know how to recognize it, understand it and make the leap beyond it towards the life that's awaiting you on the other side.
When fears crop up for you-whether it's with food, career, relationships, transitions, or anything else-use the following questions to analyze the fear and move forward.
I like to ask this question to my clients a lot. When you're adopting a new healthier lifestyle and trying new foods, what is the worst case scenario?
If you try kale a few times and you don't like it, what's the absolute worst that can happen? If you take a Zumba class and it didn't jive with your personality, so what? If you burn the dish you're cooking or your partner doesn't like your new quinoa recipe, what is the long-term negative impact?
When you're faced with a fear, ask yourself what's the worst case scenario and think about it for approximately 30 seconds. Then, if you're willing to take the risk (big or small), make the decision to move forward and do it. Typically, the worst case scenario doesn't play out in real life very often anyway.
The purpose of your life is to grow, expand, learn and be happy while doing it. Fear is programmed into us to keep us safe from getting attacked by a sabertooth tiger (or other life-threatening scenario), but it's not suppose to prevent us from fully expressing ourselves and our gifts.
When I wanted to start my own business and there was a whole database of fears being created in my mind, I had to ask myself if moving past these fears will make me a better person. And the answer was yes.
Trying new foods, starting an exercise routine, learning a new language, traveling across the world and all types of other situations are going to be riddled with fears, but in the end, they will make you a better person. And if that's the case, you want to feel the fear, but do it anyway.
When you want to do something new or challenging, start with the end in mind. For me, I try to exercise in some form every single day, but there are days when I really don't feel like it. It's those days when I'm so tired that I would rather do anything than even get up and walk around the block.
So I ask myself: how will I feel after I exercise? The answer is usually "better" or "great." So I focus on the end result and how good I'll feel as motivation to put my tennis shoes on and get out the door.
Once I get going, I always feel better. And this is the same whether I need to knock out a difficult task on my to-do list or cooking at home instead of eating out...I keep the end in mind.
When you're faced with fears, difficulties, time limits or problems, think about how you will feel when you move past those feelings and reach the other side. Then base your decision on the end result, not on the immediate obstacles.
It's "Election Season" here in the United States. And with this season comes lots of people talking bullshit...
I normally stay pretty clear of politics. I figure you're going to vote for whomever you vote for, so why put the energy into the discussion.
Still, there is one aspect of voting that I feel is worth discussing here. It's the "lesser of two evils" concept.
Why would somebody do that?
Forget politics for a second; that was just the segue to the topic. Where this habit really affects you is general life situations.
The "lesser of two evils" is getting married to an asshole because you think an asshole is better than being alone.
The "lesser of two evils" is keeping a job you know you hate, because you're afraid to make the jump to something you might hate.
The "lesser of two evils" is putting out your album/book/manuscript before it's truly done, because you're tired of working on it and "something is better than nothing."
In life, you should vote for what you really want. From the person you date, to the house you live in, to the job you work. A hamburger and a cheeseburger are very similar, but the one you really like tastes so much better than the other.
Don't settle. Ever.