All posts by Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

INTERVIEW: Author Todd Foley on his new book Charades

If you’re looking for a great summer read, you’ll want to check out Charades by Todd Foley (you can grab your copy here).

I sat down at my computer to chat with Todd about his new book and recorded the interview below.


To connect with Todd, stop by his website to see what new projects he’s working on.

As a side note, Mr. Foley is an amazing editor and anyone needing his services would be pleased with his keen (and gentle!) eye and suggestions for better writing.


Most Efficient Way to Shovel (And Save Your Back) in 3 Easy Steps

Upon shoveling out of Jonas today here in Pennsylvania, I’ve done a little research to figure out the most efficient way to shovel. If you want to save your back, take the easy steps below.

1. Listen for doorbell.

2. When doorbell rings, peek out and see if an entrepreneurial teenager is holding a shovel (and/or has a snowblower).

3. Answer door with a $20.00 bill in hand and offer the $20.00 for them to shovel your driveway/walkway.


I like peace, quiet and serenity.

I like things neat, clean and organized.


I don’t learn anything from trying to control my environment to always be in a peaceful/quiet/organized state.

Life is messy. Business is messy. Relationships are messy.

So what’s the alternative to the messy/difficult/stretching? Wallpaper.

  • Wallpaper has no relationships.
  • Never changes.
  • Never learns.

Wallpaper keeps things looking nice…but that’s about it.

That’s not the life I want, the business I want or the relationships I want.

I’d rather be sandpaper. Sandpaper stirs, smooths, roughs, changes and reinvents.



Dreams vs Goals

As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 peers over the horizon, I started thinking about my goals for the coming year. dreams vs goals

My thoughts swirled…

So, you wanna do some dumb resolution thing for 2014?

No. That’s a bit tired.

OK, maybe write out your dreams for the coming year then…or your goals.

Well, which is it…dreams or goals?

I dunno. Who are we talking to?

It’s me…you.

Oh, so glad it was me talking and not you talking.

What were we talking about before we interrupted us?

The conversation between myself and myself got more strange (if that’s possible) so I continued it on Facebook. I asked if dreams were different from goals and, if so, how? Here’s a few of the responses. Continue reading Dreams vs Goals

Why Create

Creativity isn’t easy. It’s not succinct or efficient–or even reasonable most of the time.

Creating takes hours, days or even years, often producing nothing but the strength and resolve to create again.


  • Creativity unleashes
  • Creativity transcends.
  • Creativity unlocks.

Creativity is our unique gift. Our joy comes from creating and sharing our gift with others. (Tweet that)

Barron Webster via Compfight

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How Men Relate: Man Speak







Repeat for 70+ years?


What do you get when you connect an ultra marathoner/poet, a literary agent/editor and an actor/entrepreneur online in Google Hangouts over the course of 10 months? A book about connection.

When my friend Dave Lukas started talking about a project for collaboration, I was in 100%. The prospect of creating something with someone whom I’d never met in person fascinated me.

Our mutual friend Todd Foley (also never met in person) joined in as well. And we three dudes had a baby several months later. We named our kiddo Man Speak: Conversations on Manhood, Responsibility and [not] Growing Up. Continue reading How Men Relate: Man Speak

How to Not Complain: 13 Tips for Staying Positive

1. Realize that work, pain and frustration are not a curse, though our attitudes can be.

2. Wear yellow.

3. Compliment liberally, criticize minimally. (Tweet this positivity!)

4. For every negative thing that’s said to you by the “Debby Downer” types, immediately turn it around to the positive.

DD: Oh well. Looks like rain today!

You: Rain is so beautiful! Don’t you love it?

DD: No.

You: Did you know your body is made up of two-thirds water? You are rain!

DD: *walks away thinking you are weird because you’re so positive*

5. Hide the friend on Facebook whose updates start with “ugh” or “rant warning” or anything that resembles something Eeyore would say.


6. Create something–give it away. Continue reading How to Not Complain: 13 Tips for Staying Positive

How to Tell if Someone is NOT the Expert They Think They Are

With the bevy of online gurus, experts, coaches and inspirational bloggers who offer advice on how to achieve our dreams, be successful and quit our day jobs, I think it’s time we set a standard on whether or not these experts deserve our attention.

Here are my guidelines.

You are not a guru/expert/coach if…

1. You don’t listen to your own advice. 

No matter how wonderful your blog is, if you haven’t published a book you are not an expert on publishing. I’m amazed at the number of self-publishing geniuses these days.

On the other hand this guy is a publishing expert and a durn good editor. (Todd, is “durn’ ok to use? Also, should I capitalize ‘ok’ or spell it okay?)

2. You walk doesn’t match your talkity-talk-talk.

Shakespeare said it best: “Words! Words! Words!” The old adage in writing is show, don’t tell. The same applies for my benchmark for the guru/expert/coach: if they show me by their actions, I will listen–otherwise, it’s just words.

Bryan Allain is one

3. You live in a van…down by the river. chrisfarley-mattfoley-snl-debut-1993-585x418

This one is debatable because who doesn’t like a van by a river? But even Chris Farley would agree that just because you have a blog on “business success tips” doesn’t mean you’re a success. Anyone can be an entrepreneur from behind a WordPress blog, but it takes real guts to actually start a business and make it turn a profit.

This guy is an inspiration when it comes to really walking the walk–and he’s doing research on minivans, so there’s that too.

Now the real question…am I an expert on who is an expert?

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