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?

[box options]Like this stuff? Subscribe to RSS or get new posts via e-mail.[/box]

17 Ways to Inspire Creativity

1. Do something that scares you…like making pasta from scratch.

2. Visit The Creativity Post. I love this blog.

3. Give away something you made…that you normally don’t give away.

4. Charge for something you normally give away.

5. Read an inspiring book. Here’s a list of my favorites. Continue reading “17 Ways to Inspire Creativity”

Lust and Your Creative Passion

[box options] You’re reading creative passion love (or hate) letters from yourself, to yourself. You wrote what you are about to read. You wrote it with your life.

If this is your first visit, start here with Day 1.[/box]

Dear Me,

Before we jump into today’s letter of your creativity rehab bootcamp, here’s what you’ve written about thus far…

Day 1Day 2, and Day 3 were all about getting yourself to feel again. You might’ve felt angry or frustrated at first. But mostly you felt empowered after you wrote this. You realized you’ve abandoned your creativity.

Passion begets passion.

In Day 4 you identified the four surrogates that make you think you’re living, feeling and creating. But they’re masqueraders.

Day 5 shined a spotlight on the cockroach of apathy, the first surrogate to creative passion, and it scurried away.

Ahhhh… and here we are at Day 6. How do you feel tackling these demons?

Empowered? Furious? Frustrated?

On this path you’re on, it’s just good to be feeling. For so long you felt nothing but confusion and ambiguity.

In a world of numb, artists make us feel.

At least you’re feeling again.

At least you’re angry or inspired or        fill in the blank          .

At the very least, feel something. Continue reading “Lust and Your Creative Passion”

Creative Passion: The Antonym of Apathy

[box options]Earlier Letters: Read these letters (here’s Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 if you need to backtrack) as if you wrote them.

You are the author. You wrote what you are about to read. You wrote it with your life.

Sounds a bit dramatic, eh? It kinda is.

Live accordingly.[/box]

Dear Me,

Welcome to Day 5 of your creative rehab bootcamp. Day 4 was about Identifying the Surrogates that have robbed you of your creative passion. 

  • Apathy
  • Lust
  • Indecision
  • Busyness
  • Fear

Strangle these bastards.

Hmmmm. Maybe that’s extreme language?

Good. Continue reading “Creative Passion: The Antonym of Apathy”

Creative Passion

Dear Me,

Just a reminder before you get started: you wrote this post. You wrote this letter.

You. Wrote. It.


Now it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Put your fingernails in the the dirt of your creativity. Let them come up grimy and soiled. Feel the cool of the earth and the grounded feeling of the minerals.

Dig in.

Passion begets passion.

Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 were all about getting yourself to feel again. You might’ve felt angry or frustrated at first. But mostly you felt empowered. You realized you’ve abandoned your creativity.

Passion begets passion.

Onward and upward?

No. Deeper and wider. Continue reading “Creative Passion”

Here’s What I [fill in the blank]

I say I want                                                  .

I really want                                                  .

My way of making this dream a reality is                                          .

What You Want?

In Conclusion:

1. Know what you want.

2. Make sure it’s truly what you want and not just what you say you want.

3. Take action to get what you want.

 Dreams and ideas are nothing without implementation.


How are you putting action to your wants and dreams?


One Word for Focus and Purpose

Siri Can't Help

People who live without asking this question fulfill other people’s dreams.

Their own dreams die, never realized.


Companies who exist without asking this question function solely as money-making machines, destined to crumble after 10-15 years of success.

They never aspired to a greater focus and purpose.

  Continue reading “One Word for Focus and Purpose”

How to (not) Write a Blog: Biggest Blogging Mistakes

Blog Mistake Number One: Poor Title

The best way to keep readers from enjoying your awesome posts is to write a poor title.

Amancay Maahs (Creative Commons)

Your title should engage the reader, build value and provide them with a possible answer to a question they’ve always wanted to know. For instance, you’re reading this post (most likely) simply because of the title “How to (not) Write a Blog: Biggest Blogging Mistakes.”

For some great tips on writing engaging headlines, check this out.

Blog Mistake Number Two: Distracting Errors

If you wint your credibulit to be shot to the wall, make stupid errors just the ones’ in this sentence

Distracting aren’t they?

Tip: if you’re not great at catching grammatical errors, have someone who is gifted in that arena proofread your posts before hitting that publish button.

Continue reading “How to (not) Write a Blog: Biggest Blogging Mistakes”

The Secret to Connecting with Your Creative Community

[box options]Side note… Today I’m guest posting on Michael Perkins’ amazingly creative blog The Handwritten. You’ll want to check out Michael’s take on simple, honest blogging. It’s like eating decadent desert without the calories. [/box]

There’s a secret to joining a creative community.

“I don’t like the word ‘community.’ Sounds needy and I’ve had enough of co-dependency,” you may say.

“I’m an artist, Andrew. I lock myself away in a room and think about my feelings for hours on end. I’m just fine without a creative community.”

“I’m not comfortable calling myself ‘creative,’ so how would I fit in with people who really are creative?”

Who is that talking?

What is keeping you from connecting?

Why do you feel the opposition to connecting with other creatives?

Continue reading “The Secret to Connecting with Your Creative Community”

Creative Juices: Monday Begins on Sunday

Monday blues. Case of the Monday’s. I’ve even heard it said that “Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.” It’s a cute and clever statement, yet some actually believe this. Why waste 1/7th of our lives?

As whole and complete creatives our Mondays must begin on our Sundays with a basic three-fold plan: mind, body, and spirit.

+Sunday mind. Creative people read, listen to podcasts (here’s a good one on Ideation), and chat with other creatives at the local coffee shop. Whatever the case, striking that balance between mind, body, and spirit is rarely achieved without feeding the mind. This past Sunday I read a number of other blogs on creativity, watched a bit of the always inspiring CBS Sunday Morning, and snagged some time to write. Food for the mind.

+Sunday body. A jog. A walk. A ‘wog’ if you’d rather walk-jog. At any rate, a simple twenty minute something to fuel our week lets our bodies know that we care about them. When the weather is nice, like it was yesterday, I’ll clip off a few miles on our local rail-trail. Isn’t it amazing? (Find a trail like this near you.)

Rails to Trails Haven. Sad the railroad is gone. Happy it's used for a good purpose.

+Sunday spirit. Our spirit’s often neglected because it’s an intangible, unlike the mind and body. Sometimes used interchangeably with ‘soul,’ our spirit was created to commune and communicate with God. It’s maintenance is simple: get feed, feed others. My church is amazing–the teaching fantastic. The sheer joy and celebration of life is a banquet for my spirit. We leave knowing we’re loved, full of purpose, and desire to give that love away. Nothing like a healthy dose of gratefulness and thankfulness!

As I sit here now, in the early Monday morning pre-sun hours, I’m looking forward to today and to this week. My mind is charged, my body is refreshed, and my spirit is energized.

No more ‘case of the Monday’s’ thanks to a great Sunday.

How do you prep your mind, body, and spirit to supercharge your Monday?


Don’t Miss a Thing: Subscribe to this Blog