Conversations on trust are difficult because they have moral and practical connotations. We sometimes mean trust in the practical way: I trust my car to start, the sun to rise, or my cappuccino to be good. Other times, we use trust in a moral way, as in the way I trust my neighbors not to give my house key to robbers or for Angela to tell me the truth—this use says more about character than anything else.
Let me give you an example. I had to have a tough conversation with a collaborator this week. We’d been in the natural storming phase of the relationship, but given the context of the relationship, I’d held off on expressing my frustration, disappointments, and expectations, hoping things would get better around the next bend.
But I’ve run this pattern so many times that I should know better. The situation never gets better until you have the conversations that make them better, and those conversations need to come sooner rather than later. If they don’t, one party ends up with a mountain of micro let-downs that eventually erupt into an uncontrollable stream of fire on the unexpecting party. Both parties are then left picking through a smoldering shell of a relationship where neither can take back what was said nor travel into the future without the residue of the eruption.
Underneath many of our tensions in relationships is the question, “Can I trust the other person?” But trust is a co-creative dynamic; in the absence of...
I was listening to the audiobook version of Mark Nepo’s More Together Than Alone the other day. The following passage struck me:
In an elemental way, empathy and connection are life-giving. Let’s consider how birds sing at the sign of first light. By itself this is remarkable, that light causes birds to sing. This is also how birds re-map their web of relationship each morning. Like a form of natural radar, their songs bounce off each other and a new geography of birds is established — or re-established — for the day. Their maps and sense of territory stay current. They begin freshly with each appearance of dawn and co-exist by singing their song and acknowledging each other’s song. By voicing and receiving their individual songs, birds relocate each other every morning.
The passage took me back to the summers I lived side-by-side with other Scouts and soldiers. The mornings were filled with the songs of the community re-bonding and re-forming for the work of the day. Sure, those songs may have been greetings, laughter, heckling, grumbling, farting, burping, and groaning, but they were the sounds of a community rebuilding itself every morning.
The community also voiced the presence of its individuals with morning formations or stand-ups. The formal roll call and informal greetings ensured everyone was counted, and everyone counted. Even the least popular member of the communities knew that should they go missing, get hurt, or come under attack, the entire...
I used to suck at receiving help. I was so bad at it someone finally had to tell me …
We were sitting at a table in the sun at a retreat I was facilitating in Cancun in 2012. I had just finished my glass of tea and a retreat participant asked if she could fill it up because she was going to the kitchen. I politely declined, letting her know I’d be going to the kitchen shortly to get some guacamole and would get the tea myself. Odds were, though, that I’d never remember to get the tea or the guacamole.
Another participant I was talking to looked me in the eyes and firmly but lovingly said, “You suck at receiving, love.” Guilty. (She always ends sentences with “love” as a term of affection so the truth doesn’t sting as much.)
I had come a long way by that time, though. I’d spent the past few years really working on asking for and receiving help. Mind you, I’m not talking about asking for and receiving help from people I’ve paid to help me – I’m usually great at delegating to and getting support from people I’m paying. It’s the whole non-economic receiving that I’ve struggled with.
I’ve made progress and have come a long way, but I still have a ways to go and know that I have to keep at it.
Here’s what I’ve learned about asking for and receiving help:
1. Asking for and receiving help shifts interaction from a utilitarian transaction to a relational exchange.
Those words in 2012 made me take the problem more seriously...
The free planners for June are now available on the Free Planners page!
June is just about here, and with that, the unofficial start of summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Summer is the season of transition – graduations, weather shifts, energy levels – and with this change comes the natural desire to want to unwind. Ahhh… can someone pass this girl the sunscreen, an Aperol spritz and a good book? I earned it after that cold, wet winter.
But there’s nothing worse than an interruption in your afternoon leisure time than the nagging thought of work. Whether it’s the pile-up of emails you haven’t gotten to or the countless orders that need to be shipped, planning out your schedule even just a few days in advance can help you to better enjoy your well-earned R&R with ease.
If you’re curious about how to best strategize during the summer months, join us for our free Monthly Momentum Call on Monday, June 10th at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT. Ask Charlie and Angela about how to stay truly present while you’re trying to get your chill on, or about anything else that will help you prepare for summer. More of the silent type? Feel free to tune-in and listen along. We’d love to have you there!
Every business, from the start-up to the “mom-n-pop,” and from the small service and/or product-based business to the multi-national company, eventually encounters a season when money is tight.
Perhaps it looks like sales reaching a plateau, coupled with an anemic pipeline. Maybe it looks like a high burn rate. Perhaps your accounts receivables are outpacing your paid invoices. The details may be different, but the result is the same: More money is flowing out than what’s flowing in.
And that is when money becomes tight and shifts from being a tool that helps you move forward to it being the bottleneck that keeps you stuck and running in place. It is also when you tend to feel stressed and the most vulnerable, financially and emotionally.
When money is the bottleneck in your business due to cashflow, its ramifications can potentially lead to dire outcomes. It could lead to you making decisions and choices you’d never entertain in financially healthier times. Or it could be a “season” that lasts so long that it morphs into a permanent state of being.
But this post isn’t about quitting, nor is it about those instances when the most dire outcome is shutting down or declaring bankruptcy. It is about viewing those seasons when money becomes a bottleneck as good things.
This is crazy hard to do! Mostly because when money is tight, you tend to move into survival mode. But speaking from recent experience,...
It’s inevitable that when we embark on ambitious endeavors, there will be setbacks.
Goal setting is designed to get us farther along the road toward success. Without clearly defined goals, many of us would meander through our days and only accomplish a fraction of the things we’re capable of.
But being vulnerable enough to even have such lofty ideas as goals also increases the potential for failure. The catch is this — If we never see failure, it’s difficult to fully appreciate our successes or to have success in the first place. This is true with any contrast and applies even if your failures aren’t big ones. Think about it: whites appear much more brilliant when held against a darker color. Joy is sweeter and more welcome after a time of sorrow. And the view from a mountaintop is most appreciated after a difficult climb.
All of this is great in theory, sure, but when you’re in the throes of shame after a mistake, it can be hard to pick yourself back up. Simply put, it’s important to embrace your journey and keep moving forward. Here are a few ways you can turn your failures into opportunities (AKA handle your setbacks in a way that also propels you onward and upward):
Choose Your Focus
Failures or missteps come with opportunities. But where Creative Giants can thrive is that instead of focusing on the setback, start focusing on the bounce back. It’s not always easy when we as a society are constantly comparing ourselves to others and...
It’s tempting to believe that accomplishing your goals is about big efforts and huge wins. In reality, it’s more about the little things — the “dailies,” to borrow a monastic term — that you do consistently.
For example, people often ask me how to write a book. I reply, “No one writes a book.”
They look at me puzzled. They know I’ve written and published four books in the past decade.
I clarify, “You don’t write a book. You write a sentence, then a paragraph, then a section. If you write enough of those, for enough days in a row, then eventually you’ll have a book.”
My “Daily” Commitment
For years I’ve committed to writing 500 words a day on my book projects. The result is hundreds of thousands of words and multiple books. (Five hundred words is a chapter every few weeks, and a first draft in about eight months.) But it was the daily discipline of writing that yielded that body of work. I didn’t lock myself in a room for two weeks, frantically typing away. I sat myself in a chair and wrote, regardless of whether or not I felt like I had anything to say that day. Once I’d hit my 500 words, then I’d achieved my goal.
As Gretchen Rubin once said, “What you do every day is more important than what you do once in a while.” The activities and rituals you build into your life, each and every day, shape who you become.
Some of us just can’t get enough of learning. We are constantly on the search for the next piece of information that will finally take us where we want to go: a bonafide information junkie.
Maybe it’s that pricey seminar next weekend. It will surely get us to the place where we can take off and be successful — or have the confidence to start being successful, at least until Monday morning rolls around again.
Or maybe it’s the latest book by our favorite self-help author. They always give us a positive boost and nuggets of wisdom that inspire us to keep going and growing.
It could be yet another article, another Facebook post, etc.
Whatever it is, though, we are certain we need to read or listen to it. Heaven forbid we miss out on the “thing” that will finally get us to the place where everything clicks! We think, “If only I knew a little bit more, I’d know where to start on something. I’d be ready.”
Unfortunately, we can be paralyzed by the seemingly infinite amount of information that is at our fingertips. We may not even realize we’re frozen. We are consuming so much information on a daily basis that we can’t even compute where or how to start or what to do next.
In reality, what is at the heart of this need to learn more is a lack of confidence in our own abilities and fear of not being worthy. (Tweet this.)
The specific fear may look different for each of us, but the themes I’ve seen over the years in my work with creatives (and in my own...
The free planners for May are now available on the Free Planners page!
Many of us are starting to come out of hibernation, slowly at first, with a walk around the park on the first day where the breeze is no longer feeling brisk. Gradually, we start to pick up steam; cleaning off the patio furniture, plucking the weeds, building a deck. The list goes on and on until… wait, was I supposed to meet with my new client today?
It’s easy to get excited and wrapped up in the dozens of new projects that pop into our brains and into our Instagram feeds. But if you aren’t getting done what you really want (or need) to be getting done, that’s when problems can arise. So, is building that Pinterest-worthy back patio a priority? Or is your time and energy better spent simply tending to the garden and also tending to your monthly podcast, new book, and keeping your current customers happy? It may be time to take a peek at your projects and do a thorough prune, so you can back off on what’s not urgent at the moment in order to let other endeavours really bloom.
If you need help figuring out what should stay and what should go, we got you. Join Angela for our May Monthly Momentum Call on Monday, May 13th at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT. Ask a question about your particular project cagematch, or anything else that’s been a stuck point for you. A bit on the quiet side? That’s great! We love an introvert. Feel free to join and listen in on what other Creative Giants are going through....