To Write, Not to Write?

No one wants to read a blog post when a person is just writing to write a blog post.

Right now, that person might (just might) be me. I have nothing to say, therefore, I am done.

So many people have something to say, and no physical voice to say it.

Like Roger Ebert.

Sarah told me about his story tonight. How thyroid cancer had ruined his voice. Consequently, for some time during his recovery, he wasn’t able to eat food properly. One of his requests: to have his friends/family describe food to him–the bubbles of soda, the heat of the spices etc.

Vicarious descriptive sensory image extravaganza.

To write, or not to write? Just do it. Write.

Ok–now I’m done. Hmmm. I guess I had something to say.

How Creativity Can Backfire in the Workplace

Want to get a job or want to keep your job? There, that ought to cover just about everyone between the ages of 18 and 120.
As Obama and the rest of Washington draw up job plan after job plan, let’s make sure we do our part rather than waiting on the government to do their part; it may take them a while anyway.

I love being creative and coming up with the next¬† ‘new thing,’ being adventurous and trying those ‘new things’ out(, and just having fun. Yet, at times, you just have to get back to basics and follow the instructions. Here are a few…

To Get a Job:
  1. Research the company. Employers often ask questions to guage your interest level in the position and the company. No research, no interest, no job. Sorry Charlie, you just shot yourself in the foot.
  2. Follow the instructions. “Please fill this out and when you’re done, let me know,” the job screener says. Then why are you sitting there waiting for someone to call your name after you filled it out? You’ll probably hear something similar to “we’ll let you know” when they snatch away the clipboard you should’ve handed to the proctor. If you can’t follow very simple instructions at an interview, here is what an employer thinks: he doesn’t listen well. She won’t follow procedures. I can’t trust that person. Let’s not waste our time.
  3. Be real. Enjoy the interview, rather than dreading it. Show genuine interest in the company and the people who are interviewing you. Rule of thumb: you will always communicate proportionate to how you feel. Feel scared? That’s the way you’ll come across. Feel under qualified? They’ll smell it with every word you speak. Be you (unless you’re a hot mess, in which case, be on the lookout for people just like you in places you spend money and try to work there. You’ll fit right in).
To Keep Your Job:
  1. Listen to your boss. Listen to what he says. What he doesn’t say. Act accordingly.
  2. Keep your promises. If you’re not going to do it, or capable of doing it, don’t do it. If you say you’re going to do it, then do it. If you don’t know how to do it, but want to do it, then learn to do it.
  3. Take responsibility. Don’t blame others for your failures, but give others credit when you succeed. Ouch, that may seem painful and humbling. It is, but heck, you’ll still have a job and people will respect you for it.

Not a lot of creativity in those tidbids. It’ll come later after you have the trust and respect of your employers. Maybe then they’ll want to listen.

Lady Gaga + Warren Buffett = Tips for Business Artists

She is hanging from a chandelier, covered in stage blood, dressed in. . . what is that?Welcome to my brain when I first saw Lady Gaga perform on an awards show several years ago. I looked over at my wife, who’s also a business artist like myself, and noticed her jaw in a similarly dropped state.Warren Buffett. Ever heard of him? Well, apparently he’s a big-wig businessman, although he doesn’t consider himself one. “I am not a businessman. I am an artist,” Buffett once confessed. A wealthy artist at that: he’s worth over $47 billion according to Forbes. Some say his net worth is over $60 billion. That’s a lot or ‘illions’ either way.

We may not all be aiming to net illions with an ‘m’ or a ‘b,’ but I think we can all agree that creativity must thrive and breathe in everything we do. That said, here’s some tips brought about by inspirations of Gaga and Buffett, the unlikely dynamic duo.

Tips for Business Artists:

  • Be passionate and sell what you’re selling unapologeticly. Whether products, services, or consultative information.
  • Be confident and convey your love for what you do. Your prospect will only buy it if you do first.
  • Grab attention and don’t let up.
  • No limits. Pandora’s box what? There is no box. Let ‘er fly kiddo.
  • Keep creating, reinventing, and work. I could rant on this, but I already did: creativity might be painful work. That’s why it’s called ‘work.’ Get to work, and then don’t stop. Ever.
  • Don’t be afraid of what people think of your beliefs.

Now go. Do. Create. Enjoy. Share.

Why Ideas and Ideation Give Me a High

I’m hooked.

I’ve always loved ideas, brainstorming, coming up with a plan, thinking abstractly, imagining ‘what if’ and the like.

Case in point (let’s see where this takes us):

What if . . . we all didn’t use air conditioning for an entire day during the heat of summer. We could donate all the money saved–just for having one relatively uncomfortable day. Hmmm. If each home cost an average of $3-5/day to cool…. if 1,000 people jumped on my what-if bandwagon, we could contribute around $4,000 to a good cause. If I doubled my energy-saving crusade, $8,000 saved and given. And let’s just say I got (now I feel like I’m hatching a pyramid scheme) 10,000 people to do this next summer and collected the $4-$5 saved from each of those people. Around $50,000. Maybe I WILL do that. Would you join?
But here’s the thing: coming up with that instantaneous idea came about by asking ‘what if’ and man, it gives me a slight high to see those ideas start to germinate, take form, and possibly grow. Even more, when those ideas are shared with other ideators (see post on ideation if you need clarity on that word–I did) the ideas take a new shape. Ever-new!
My joy is to string those mini-eureka moments together to form a lovely, creative life for years and years to come. Sarah, my wife and lovely ideator partner, inspires me daily to do just that.
What if….
What if . . . we weren’t afraid to think in new ways. To come up with solutions to things that we DON’T think need to be fixed–just to make it better.¬†
What if . . . ideas are God’s gift to us and our gift back to God is to share the idea, enjoy it, ruminate on it and see what it becomes.
What if. . . your spark of ideation changed your city, your country, or your world.

What. If.

New Favorite Word: Ideation

When I grow up, I wanna be an ideator.

Realization #1: I love and thrive on creativity, ideas, and innovation.

Realization #2: I get bored easily.

Are you like this too?

While at the gym today, I was listening to a podcast I’d downloaded nearly a year ago from Gaurav Suri, a philosopher, author, fMRI specialist (no, I don’t know what an fMRI specialist is) was speaking on what happens in our brain when we create. The podcast, though a bit dry at times, was tremendously inspiring and made me forget my workout–always a good thing.

Listen to it here.

Suri, through his research and other smarty-pants things, deduced that the ‘ah-ha’ moment an idea is birthed in our conscious (though often unconscious) mind, massive amounts of dompamine are released into the brain. In normal people language: when we have a cool idea we feel awesome.

(Side note: cocaine and nicotine have the exact same effect on our bodies.)

People actually make a living of doing this idea-making thing. Some license products, or even ideas, to companies who desire to produce the ideas, market them, and sell them to the public. Apparently the process of formulating ideas and concepts is called ideation. And it’s my new favorite word.

Dreaming up ideas is a lot more fun, and healthy, that smoking a cigarette. Or using cocaine.

And it’s cheaper. . . not that I would know. Just guessing.